Drug addict site opens

2016-06-09 06:00
An recovered drug addict(back to camera) shares his story with Mayor Patricia De lille during the launch of 16-week Matix programme, in Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

An recovered drug addict(back to camera) shares his story with Mayor Patricia De lille during the launch of 16-week Matix programme, in Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Matrix Clinic for change was launched by Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille in Town Two on Tuesday.

The centre was described as a hope for drug addicts who wished to change their lives for the better.

De Lille also launched the 16-week Matrix programme, which is the city’s fourth Substance Abuse Campaign since 2008.

She said those who find themselves trapped in drugs should know that there is help available for them.

“Drugs are a real problem in our country. They destroy our society. We all have a drug problem and therefore we need to do something about it. Parents, schools, government, churches and community should be involved (in the fight against drugs). There is help if you need one. Rehab centres are full to capacity and we are saying use this Matrix Clinic for the change,” she said.

Since 2008, the City has opened six Matrix sites in Tafelsig, Khayelitsha, Delft South, Parkwood, Milnerton and Manenberg.

The city launched a 24-hour drug helpline (0800 43 57 48), in 2014, and it has since seen an 83% increase in the number of calls from people who need help.

De Lille also said they have evicted 23 families who have been identified as selling drugs from council owned homes and gave the houses to other families who are not associated with drugs.

She also appealed to residents not to buy stolen goods.

She also said those who have completed the rehabilitation process and are living a clean life are offered jobs to work for their Contract Works Programme (CWP).

One former drug addict, a 22 year old man who preffered to remain anonymous, said he now lived a clean life.

He shared his story during the launch.

The man said it all started with alcohol consumption and later he was influenced by his friends to take drugs.

As a results of alcohol abuse, he dropped-out of school in Grade 11, in 2003.

“I realised that there was something wrong with me as I was taking drugs, but it was not easy to stop, because I was hearing some strange voices talking to me. I even tried to commit suicide as I was struggling to quit. It was not easy, but through the help that I received I am now clean. I did not know then that drugs are dangerous. I broke promises I made with my family and they ended up telling me that it would be better if I go to jail. They said I was useless,” he said.

Monwabisi Mbandazayo, a senior therapist at Town Two Clinic, said they see about 30 new screenings a month at the hospital.

Mbandazayo said they mostly see males between the ages of 18 to 35 who have drug problems, mostly tik, and males between the ages of 30 to 40 who ask for help to quit alcohol.

He said there are very few females who approach them and he suspects that the reason behind this is that females still have to battle the stigma attached to their drug use first before coming forward to seek help.

“Then there are those who dropout during the process for different reasons such as not having someone to look after the children at home when they are at the centre. The clinic is opened four days a week.

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