10% of staff have addiction problem – City of Cape Town

2013-04-05 11:45

City of Cape Town officials estimate that about 10% of their 27 000 staff have an addiction problem.

The Cape Times reported today that the city had revised its substance-abuse policy to take a tougher stance on drug and alcohol abusers.

It believed service delivery would be affected if addiction problems spiralled out of control.

A city report said a large number of work sites were affected by drug and alcohol abuse, which led to absenteeism, poor performance, criminal activity and injuries on duty.

The city’s employee wellness programme manager, Herman van der Watt, told the newspaper that alcohol was the prevalent substance abused by employees older than 40.

Tik (Methamphetamine) was the most common substance for those between the ages of 23 and 35.

“The city’s programme is currently mostly treating staff members employed on lower levels due to the fact that many of them have reached chronic stages of addiction that need urgent intervention,” he said.

“Higher-level employees may never be seen by our service as they would access private treatment using medical aid.”

Since the city’s outpatient programme was established in July 2011, 323 city employees had been referred to the programme and some were referred to inpatient rehabilitation centres.

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