Africans with ad­dic­tions re­luc­tant to seek help

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

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

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