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High demand for City’s substance abuse prevention programmes <p>The City has a well-established, transversal strategy to deal with substance abuse, focusing on prevention, intervention, suppression and coordination.<br></p><p>Among the flagship programmes on the prevention side are:</p><p>·       The Essentially Me and Driving My Future interventions reached <strong>3 768 </strong>learners in this financial year, up from <strong>2 867</strong> (<strong>31%</strong> increase)</p><p>·       The Strengthening Families Programme – an eight-week intervention to help improve household relationships. The programme had <strong>363 </strong>families participating in this financial year, representing a <strong>16%</strong> increase compared to the previous year, when <strong>313 </strong>families participated</p><p>On 26 June, the United Nations commemorates International Day against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking, in acknowledgement of the ongoing challenge of substance abuse.</p><p>The theme for 2024 is 'The evidence is clear: invest in prevention'.</p><p>'The theme encapsulates the City's approach, where numerous programmes aimed at prevention have been in place for more than a decade already, and new ones are being introduced to meet the growing demand, but also to accommodate generational shifts. We have seen significant growth in the last year in our Strengthening Families programme, as well as the programmes for learners that deal with building resilience against negative influences, and understanding concepts like accountability and consequences.</p><p>'The proliferation of substances, whether drugs or alcohol, is seemingly never-ending. Telling children not to do drugs is a start, but showing them how to build self-esteem, how to deal with bullying and other stress factors in their lives, makes them more inclined to lean towards positive choices. These have historically been referred to as soft skills, but they can actually be the very hard shell that protects someone from falling into addiction,' said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross. </p><p>Apart from the personal and relationship development aspects, the Community Services and Health Directorate also invests heavily in afterschool and holiday  programmes to keep children positively engaged, offered by the Recreation and Parks, and Library & Information Services.</p><p>Between January and March 2024, the Recreation and Parks Department had participation rates of over 31 000 for primary school learners at 45<strong> </strong>City recreation facilities and over 7 000 for high school learners across 25 recreation facilities. </p><p>'Safe spaces are crucial for our young people, and we are enthused by the number of people participating in our programmes. But, there is so much more that we can and should be doing. As we reflect on our efforts to curb substance abuse, I want communities to take stock too of their role in preventing our young people from falling into the trap, and what more they can do,' added Councillor Van der Ross. </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-06-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#8a4b9ef0-0abd-4811-a93e-43b5fd20f3cb;L0|#08a4b9ef0-0abd-4811-a93e-43b5fd20f3cb|Substance Abuse;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#377804c6-9c66-48b2-b50c-b2582824f5a2;L0|#0377804c6-9c66-48b2-b50c-b2582824f5a2|Drugs;GP0|#a4a279af-4b4b-46ae-ab60-475ecf75ef44;L0|#0a4a279af-4b4b-46ae-ab60-475ecf75ef44|Arts and culture10


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