City celebrates drug ‘graduates’

2015-06-30 06:00
Melanie Arendse (councillor for ward 66) congratulates a certificate recipient.

Melanie Arendse (councillor for ward 66) congratulates a certificate recipient.

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The City of Cape Town’s directorate of health hosted a certification ceremony for people who graduated from its substance abuse treatment programme at the Athlone civic centre on Friday.

The ceremony coincided with International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The City currently runs six drug treatment sites in Tafelsig, Khayelitsha, Delft South, Milnerton, Parkwood and Manenberg.

The first site opened its doors in 2008 and the most recent addition (in Manenberg) was officially opened in April.

Last week’s ceremony celebrated the achievements of 119 people, including 60 who had made it through their first month of treatment, 24 who had completed the entire 16-week programme, eight (with their family members) who had completed the family programme and 27 for continued support and commitment to the programme even though they had already graduated in the past.

Shackles of abuse“The recipients are truly brave individuals whose efforts should be commended. Breaking free from the shackles of substance abuse is no easy task,” said Siyabulela Mamkeli, mayoral committee member for health.

“Many try and fail on a daily basis. In fact, just taking the step and admitting you have a problem is hard enough.

“So this is a truly momentous occasion and that is why we have decided to celebrate the achievements of our clients – to encourage them to stay the course, but to also offer a beacon of hope to others who might be considering reaching out for help.”

4 311 people have sought help at the various drug treatment sites between July 2011 and June last year.

The gender breakdown reflected findings by the Medical Research Council, with about 76% of those treated being male.

The most common substances that are found to have been used among those in the programme were tik, dagga, alcohol and heroin.

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