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City continues free alcohol and drug treatment <p>​The theme for the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, commemorated on 26 June each year, is 'Better Knowledge for Better Care' and it aims to improve the understanding of the drug problem and how in turn, better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health.</p><p>Free alcohol and drug treatment is available at the City of Cape Town’s eight community based alcohol and drug treatment sites, but due to restrictions during these unusual times, we have had to find new and different ways of rendering services. <br>Under Level 5, the City Health Matrix® sites were the only alcohol and drug treatment services available to those seeking assistance and the eight sites based across the Metro continued offering services in the traditional and non-traditional form.   </p><p>Traditional service delivery </p><ul><li>At some sites, the usual services continued such as individual and group sessions for existing clients, while at others only individual sessions were offered to accommodate clients anxious about moving around in their communities and fearful about entering health facilities   </li></ul><p>Non-traditional service delivery</p><ul><li> Prevention messages incorporating COVID-19 information was presented in the sessions held with clients</li><li> Manuals were also given to clients as take home material to prepare them for sessions that would be conducted telephonically.  </li><li> In situations where manuals were not handed to clients prior to lockdown, clients received their treatment manual on their health visit to the clinic; or it was hand delivered to client homes or in one case a clerk delivered manuals to a homeless shelter where clients were in lockdown</li><li> Individual sessions were conducted telephonically. Clients were given telephonic appointment times and encouraged to find a private space where the session was conducted  </li><li> Where clients had access to emails, a therapist sent homework and on completion, a telephonic session was held.  </li><li> At another site a WhatsApp group was created, pictures sent of the session to be discussed, a time arranged, and voice notes sent regarding the session with clients encouraged to give input, ask questions and engage around the topic  </li><li> At two sites, the therapist used SmartCape access to arrange for clients to access online meetings</li><li> Despite the challenges of accessing services, through the innovative ideas generated at the sites, some clients were able to fulfil the requirement of completing a part of or the full program     </li><li> Those clients who were contacted to restart their treatment program were pleasantly surprised that the service was still accessible, and many clients have expressed their gratitude at being able to access alcohol and drug treatment services during lockdown  </li><li>Staff have also taken up additional roles within health facilities such as assisting with administration and logistics including contact tracing and providing debriefing sessions to heath staff </li></ul><p>The service has been challenged by community unrest, public violence and at some sites clients are reluctant to attend sessions because they must be screened and potentially tested for COVID-19. This has given our therapists an opportunity to discuss the importance of screening and the need to disclose accurate information.</p><p>Seeking treatment for alcohol or drug abuse shows courage and strength. I want to encourage those who are caught in the grip of abuse to make use of the free service offered by the City. </p><p>I want to commend our Health staff who continue to go about their daily tasks despite trying and stressful times. I realise they are concerned for their own health and that of their families, and I salute them for their commitment and dedication.<br>The City's Matrix® sites are located in Brooklyn, Delft, Eerste River, Parkwood, Scottsdene, Khayelitsha, Manenberg and Tafelsig.</p><p>For help with addiction, please call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline at 0800 HELP 4 U (0800 4357 4 8).</p>2020-06-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#6eb3cc57-d82f-4faf-bdcd-4ee1029ecc9e;L0|#06eb3cc57-d82f-4faf-bdcd-4ee1029ecc9e|health and safety;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#4cb36faf-815c-4706-8782-a6f67aed84ba;L0|#04cb36faf-815c-4706-8782-a6f67aed84ba|Alcholism;GP0|#1d7b2c00-145c-4413-8135-dda30b1742ff;L0|#01d7b2c00-145c-4413-8135-dda30b1742ff|rehabilitation;GPP|#b3ee8cba-4ab7-4172-b986-48fc97a711d71


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