De Lille ‘has a drug problem’

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Copy of ca p15 oped patty done INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille File photo: Henk Kruger

Cape Town - Mayor Patricia de Lille says she has a drug problem. But it’s not what you might think.

While she might not be a user, drugs affected her, said the mayor who is making Cape Town’s drug problem, “everyone’s problem”.

De Lille has garnered support from sport and media personalities to support a new drug awareness campaign launched on Wednesday.

The city has budgeted R5 million to roll it out.

The city’s “Drugs are Everyone’s Problem” campaign would be conveyed through posters, newspaper and radio adverts, billboards, bus shelter advertising, the social media and bloggers.

De Lille has enlisted the help of “high-profile individuals”, the likes of rugby star Chester Williams, radio personality Ian Bredenkamp, and award-winning dancer Mamela Nyamza to get attention for the campaign.

The campaign is aimed at relatives, friends and colleagues rather than the users themselves.

The campaign follows the 2012 “Be Smart, Don’t Start” campaign.

The city already has an outpatient treatment facility which involves users’ relatives.

Forty-five thousand people had passed through the 12 centres, said De Lille’s chief of staff Paul Boughey.

De Lille said the city had “unashamedly” thrown significant resources behind the campaign.

She called on communities to support the initiative.

Other strategies in the city’s fight against drugs include specialised anti-drug units such as the police’s Substance Abuse and K9 Units to target dealers.

The housing unit would evict people guilty of anti-social behaviour, including drug usage, in council rental stock.

The city has also been engaging in youth programmes as a means of diverting their interest from drugs.

The city hosts a Metro Police Youth Academy and youth camps and, it has created 40 recreation hubs.

It also hosts holiday programmes and it’s using libraries to raise awareness. Foetal alcohol syndrome is also being addressed and it supports the province with intervention programmes.

De Lille also commended the liquor by-law enforcement and increased road blocks across the city.

- Residents are encouraged to call the 24-hour helpline - 0800 435748 - which is manned by trained staff to guide people seeking help.

- You can also follow #ihaveadrugproblem on Twitter.

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Cape Argus

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