New drug rehab centre welcomed
MANENBERG residents welcomed the opening of a drug rehabilitation centre in their area yesterday as residents told city officials how the scourge of drugs continued to affect their community.
Addressing residents who gathered at the opening of the Manenberg Matrix treatment site for drug and alcohol abuse, mayor Patricia de Lille said the city had invested R300 000 in the facility. It is the sixth Matrix centre to be opened in the city since 2008.
Based on treatment methods developed by a non-profit organisation in the US, the Matrix Institute on Addictions, treatment involves a 16-week structured intensive out-patient programme.
The programme ensures that those seeking help can stop abusing substances, stay in treatment, learn about addiction and relapse, receive ongoing support from a trained therapist, become involved in self-help programmes and be monitored.
“I want to… urge all drug users and the family members of drug users to reach out and make use of the help that the city is offering,” De Lille said.
Patients can access the service without making an appointment and after immediate alcohol and drug screening tests they enter treatment, which includes family counselling.
The site has seen 24 patients since it opened in February, and 73 percent of urine tests have been drug-free.
Manenberg resident Delray Johnson said her daughter had been an addict for 11 years. “My daughter has been on tik from the age of 14. She turned 25 now. Last night she painted my toilet blue,” she said.
Her daughter had been admitted to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital multiple times as her mental state had deteriorated, Johnson said.
“If the child hits rock bottom and her brain is damaged, how is she going to know when she hits rock bottom? She won’t know because her brain is damaged,” she said.
Through the Department of Social Development, she had received help from a social worker who placed her daughter on a rehabilitation waiting list, one which had lasted for three years, Johnson said. “If I had R3 000, they can send her away immediately, but I’m unemployed. I don’t have the money.”
Former drug addict Levon Brown said: “I used tik and mandrax for eight years. I have been clean for almost eight months now, but I’m still trying to rehabilitate myself.”
She said the clinic was welcomed as addicts could now get help for themselves and their families much closer to their homes.