MEC Albert Fritz on launch of Substance Abuse Awareness campaign

Substance Abuse Awareness door-to-door campaign launched by MEC Fritz

Today, Western Cape MEC of Social Development, Albert Fritz, launched the active phase of the department's substance abuse awareness campaign, with a door-to-door visit in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain.

Our message to the public is clear: "substance abuse is everyone's concern".

MEC Fritz was joined by the department's social workers from our Metro South Regional Office and Mitchells Plain Local Office, along with drug and alcohol addiction treatment specialists from our NGO partners, the Cape Town Drug Treatment Centre and Sultan Bahu.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) launched the campaign online with a substance abuse mobi-site and Facebook page.

Public engagement with these platforms has been encouraging. There have been a total of 66 291 engagements with the Facebook platform, which also links to a mobisite.

DSD has placed greater emphasis on not only expanding services for substance abuse treatment, but also information on how to access them. The recently launched substance abuse site provides essential info on how to identify substance abuse, and where to access help.

The department has allocated R58-million this financial year to over 36 NGO partners working at 51 sites across the province, to render substance abuse treatment services. The department will continue rendering and expanding quality community-based drug treatment services for the poor.

For example, DSD has expanded funding for the Opiate Substitution Treatment programme at Sultan Bahu to R2.1-million this financial year. This will increase the number of beneficiaries from 45 to 94, aside from the other programmes run at this facility.

We will also be expanding the number of substance abuse treatment workers. In partnership with the University of the Western Cape, 57 community representatives graduated this year from an intensive substance abuse treatment programme.

Members of the public looking for information or help can visit our substance abuse site (https://www.westerncape.gov.za/substance-abuse/), or contact the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250. We can help residents struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, if we continue to work "Better Together".

Source: Government of South Africa.

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