Addicts seeking help must follow procedure

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Gauteng Social Development Department is encouraged by the interest of drug addicts seeking help at rehab centres but has urged them to follow proper procedures.

The department has praised 40 young alleged drug addicts for seeking help after they stormed a rehabilitation centre in Tshwane demanding admission, however proper procedures were not followed.

The group, believed to be from Mamelodi, however, could not be assisted as they had not been properly processed in terms of the government’s rehabilitation admission procedures.

Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said the suspected addicts arrived at the Dr Fabian and Florence Ribeiro Treatment Centre at around 8pm at the weekend and demanded to be admitted.

“We were encouraged by the interest amongst the youth in Tshwane to find solutions themselves. But it is important that proper procedures are followed. Otherwise we run serious health risks. If patients are not clinically assessed to eliminate possibilities of communicable diseases, this might create untold health problems. Secondly, such good initiatives could be easily used by rival gangs who could place the lives of current patients in danger,” Mayathula-Khoza said.

The MEC said the first price is always prevention and early intervention.

“I understand these young people were joined by some of their parents. I wish we could have them cooperating with government to ensure prevention because it is the most primary proactive measure. We have several services including our Ke Moja campaign which is a slang for ‘I am OK without drugs’,” the MEC explained. 

She said the prevention and awareness campaigns focus on preventing serious harm to high risk learners. These are done through group therapy sessions, alcohol safety schools, diversion programmes and behaviour modification camps.

“But if people must be admitted, we need to provide them with provision of specialised social, psychological and medical services to service users and to persons affected by substance abuse with a view to addressing the social and health consequences associated therewith.

“The processes includes detoxification, pharmaco-therapeutic and therapeutic interventions (individual, group, family) after care and options are provided by a Multi-Disciplinary team of professionals that include social workers, Professional Nurses, Medical Practitioners, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychiatrists,” the MEC said.  -