Africans with addictions reluctant to seek help
AFRICANS are less likely to seek treatment for drug addiction than the rest of the world.
The spokeswoman for the national Department of Social Development, Lumka Oliphant, said this had emerged at the National Substance Abuse Treatment Symposium currently under way in Kimberley.
“According to Jason Eligh of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, only one in 18 people who use drugs in Africa seeks treatment, as opposed to the world average of one in six.
“This means that an overwhelming majority of drug users in the continent will not escape the devastating effects of drug abuse,” said Oliphant.
“Mogotsi Kalaeamodimo, chairperson of the Central Drug Authority, said while improving access to treatment facilities was important, it was vital to work towards removing the stigma associated with seeking help for drug addiction so that more people can come forward and seek help.”
Oliphant said the symposium brought together treatment experts from around the world and was expected to result in the development of a treatment strategy for South Africa.
The Department of Social Development, working with the Central Drug Authority, called the symposium to discuss and find sustainable methods to treating those addicted to drugs and alcohol. – Staff Reporter