Sobriety milestone celebrated

2019-03-05 06:00

The City of Cape Town’s Health celebrated various milestones with clients at its Parkwood substance abuse treatment site on Saturday 23 February.

The 44 clients who graduated over the weekend had completed various stages of the Matrix treatment programme, which was first introduced in Cape Town in 2008. The treatment, which is offered free of charge, is based on methods developed by the Matrix Institute in the USA.

The goal of the model, which is a 16-week structured programme for adults, is to provide help so that addicts can stop using illicit substances, stay in treatment, learn about addiction and relapse, receive ongoing support from a trained therapist, become involved in self-help programmes and be monitored. Treatment sessions, which involve individual, group and family therapy, are offered three times a week.

“Dealing with addiction is a difficult journey. It takes immense courage to acknowledge that you have a problem and to seek help. But that’s just the beginning. Staying in the programme, doing the work and then of course staying sober are just some more of the challenges that our clients face. Our graduation ceremonies are intended to commend them for staying the course, and to encourage them and their loved ones for what still lies ahead,’ said the City’s Mayco member for community services and health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

There are six of these substance abuse treatment sites in Delft South, Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Albow Gardens in Milnerton, Parkwood and Tafelsig.

To date in this financial year, 1 204 clients have been screened at the six sites.

The facility in Town 2, Khayelitsha has had the highest number of screenings (305), followed by Delft South (262).

Two-thirds of the clients screened are male.

The most common substances that clients seek help for are tik, dagga, alcohol, heroin and mandrax.

The budget allocation for the programme in this financial year amounted to just over R9.2m.

The City is in the process of identifying a location for a seventh treatment site.

“There is a great need for substance abuse treatment in our communities, and we are doing our utmost to facilitate access. But ultimately, prevention is the key to breaking the cycle. In this area, the City is doing a lot of work focusing on positive youth development to mitigate the risks of engaging in activities like substance abuse and other social ills. These include the after-school and holiday recreational programmes, various youth work skills projects and the Strengthening Families programme, among others. I encourage residents to find out what services are available in their areas and to make full use of them,’ adds Badroodien.

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