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Drug abuse and illicit trafficking highlighted worldwide<p>​</p><p>This is the 76th year where the issue of drug abuse and illicit trafficking is highlighted worldwide and the 2021 theme for the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, commemorated on 26 June each year,  is 'Share Facts, Save Lives’ as identified by the United Nations on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  <br> <br>‘The theme this year aims to improve the understanding of the drug problem through sharing accurate knowledge and in turn impact the lives of those struggling with addiction. The past 18 months have been difficult for everyone and our services are needed now more than ever. Drug abuse is ravaging our communities while help is available,’ said Councillor Zahid  Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health. <br> <br>The Cape Town Alcohol and Drug Action Committee has shared valuable resources on its social media pages over the last few weeks. <br> <br>The City of Cape Town has been delivering free alcohol and drug treatment to communities of need since the first Matrix® site was launched at Tafelsig in 2008.  <br> <br>Since then, seven additional sites have been operating in local City Health clinics in Eersteriver; Town 2, Khayelitsha; Ruimte Road, Manenberg; Scottsdene; Parkwood; Delft South and Albow Gardens.  <br> <br>The Matrix® programme is evidence based which aims to help clients obtain and maintain sobriety through various skills being taught to individuals and their families as they access the intensive, outpatient programme. <br> <br>It consists of individual, group, family and aftercare sessions with access to additional health services such as women’s health; child health; HIV and TB testing and treatment.    <br> <br>Anyone needing assistance can present for help at the nearest Matrix® site and this is a free service. <br> <br><strong>Some of the success stories of clients that have accessed the service over the last year include the following: </strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Clients living on the street were able to gain access to accommodation; complete the programme; gain access to employment and were able to reunify with their family </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Parents whose children were removed due to their drug abuse, were able to complete the programme; take up their responsibility and were able to have their children returned to their care</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Clients who had defaulted on their HIV treatment, after accessing the Matrix® programme they were able to access the needed health services and were re-integrated into HIV care</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">1519 clients were screened for the period July 2020- March 2021</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">79% clean drug test rate for clients attending the programme for the same reporting period</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">12 clients were employed as EPWPs at the Matrix® sites to market & raise awareness of the programme in communities</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">A brief intervention programme for adolescents was launched the 1 June at the Tafelsig Matrix® site </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">A partnership where the Department of Arts & Culture programme offered an art therapy programme to clients. Beautiful art pieces were created through the project which were exhibited and clients were able to visit an art museum as a first time experience and received art starter packs to pursue the new skills they acquired   </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Continued partnerships with the SDECD Street People Programme which allowed clients living on the street to access an alcohol & treatment programme and allowed clients accessing the Matrix® programme the opportunity to access accommodation within shelters. Continued collaboration with external partners such as the Haven and U-Turn, who render services to street people</div></li></ul><p>‘As a caring city we cannot only react to an issue and our strategy also comprises prevention and coordination which the SDECD Department focuses on. There are factors which can help prevent addiction and these include strong and positive family bonds and the involvement of parents in the lives of their children. Substance abuse has to be tackled on all fronts,’ said Councillor Badroodien.<br> <br><strong>Some of the achievements of SDECD for the 2019/2020 financial year include:</strong></p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">10 Strengthening Families programmes, reaching 198 families during the 2019/2020 financial year. This structured, evidence-based life skills programme encourages healthy family relationships and reduces vulnerability to substance use</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">34 citywide foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) simulator programmes, reaching up to 1 020 learners, encouraging responsible lifestyle choices, while raising awareness of FAS and the effect of alcohol on unborn babies; and</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">42 Essentially Me development programmes were implemented.  This programme enhanced the protective factors of approximately 1 260 learners between the ages of 9 - 11.</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">After School Programmes were expanded, hosted and supported by the City at 34 sites which included libraries, halls, civics, hubs and swimming pools. The City also supported 28 schools with the programme which contributed to the employment of up to 160 practitioners and coordinators ensuring in excess of 4 600 learners were in a safe space after school to develop additional life skills such as arts and culture, life skills and recreational activities.  </div></li></ul><p> <br>‘Although the lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic has halted many of the programmes in the 2019/2020 financial year, we are working to reach many more beneficiaries. There are many stories of recovery, restored dignity and changed lives, but we need to continue offering help to those who want and need it. Ultimately our aim is to expand on education and awareness in all communities, and by directing the public to the range of services the City offers that directly address substance use and misuse. The City has a 24/7 helpline for anyone needing help with substance abuse, or to report illegal activities,’ added Councillor Badroodien.<br> <br>The helpline number is 0800 435 748.<br> </p><p><strong>End</strong><br> </p>2021-06-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#377804c6-9c66-48b2-b50c-b2582824f5a2;L0|#0377804c6-9c66-48b2-b50c-b2582824f5a2|Drugs;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#633591e2-ed41-4816-9750-3d5f5090deda;L0|#0633591e2-ed41-4816-9750-3d5f5090deda|illegal activity10

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