Join the fight against drug trade

2019-07-02 06:00

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) calls on society to assist in our fight against substance abuse, as we observed the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Wednesday 27 June.

The Department of Social Development has allocated R109.8m for the 2019/20 financial year, to continue our work in tackling this scourge. Furthermore, since 2014, we have provided early intervention services to well-over 30 000 individuals, and aftercare and reintegration services to nearly 9000 individuals.

The legacy of Apartheid has been manifested in various ways since 1994. One direct consequence is the increased prevalence of substance misuse and abuse.

A major social problem, it has a debilitating impact on South African society. Moreover, substance abuse has a direct relationship with the increase in many social problems, ranging from poverty to crime, gender-based violence and child abuse.

Given this context, establishing and improving existing substance abuse interventions in the Western Cape remains an urgent priority. Above all, collaborative strategies between government, stakeholders across society and the affected communities, is what is required to win the fight against substance abuse.

DSD continues to be at the forefront of the fight against substance abuse, focusing on rendering;

. awareness and primary prevention services;

. early intervention;

. treatment centres;

. reintegration and after-care support;

. integrated programmes with the departments of education and health as well as local drug action committees of local authorities;

. co-ordination with partners, e.g. NGO sector;

. standardising professional and management best practices;

. facilitating diversion programmes with the social crime prevention unit as a means of intervention with the youth at risk.

Our Department has grown its network of funded services from a mere 7 in 2009, to now funding 53 organisations working at over 75 sites across the province. The 75 sites include the 6 funded inpatient treatment centres.

We have specifically targeted treating young people, in order to address the rising tide of youth alcohol and drug usage.

Furthermore, we are capacitating our services with training in the Life Skills Cognitive Behaviour programme as an initiative with Rotatory international and trainers from Holland.

We urge all residents suffering from substance abuse to make use of our services. Anybody needing more information or assistance can contact us on the www.heretohelp.co.za website, or the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250. We can beat drug and alcohol abuse, better together.

Sharna Fernandez MEC for social developement
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