Cape Town - Tik remains the drug of choice for addicts.
This is according to the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) latest report.
This week is National Drug Awareness Week.
SACENDU said in their report: “The latest Phase 50 report (2022) compiled by the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use reveals that in the Western Cape, the primary substances of use reported by 36 specialist treatment centres/programmes between the January - June 2021 were tik (35%), cannabis (24%), alcohol (18%) and heroin (7%) which together, comprises 84 percent of all admissions.
“Overall, 2433 people were treated across all 36 treatment centres in the first half of 2021.”
During 2021 and 2022, 9199 individuals accessed substance abuse prevention and treatment services offered by the Department of Social Development and its partners.
SACENDU added they saw an increase of people seeking help for substance abuse and when lockdown restrictions were lifted: “The first half of 2021 (i.e. 2021a) saw a significant increase in the number of persons admitted for treatment from 9 394 in 2020b to 10 938 in 2021a across 94 treatment centres/programmes.
“During this period, Covid-19 restrictions were lessened and treatment centres reopened or could accommodate more patients.
“However, a significant decrease in alcohol-related admissions for persons younger than 20 years in KZN (from 31% to 8%) was noticed during this period. Between 1% (EC) and 10% (WC) of persons under the age of 20 reported alcohol as their primary substance of use.
Sharna Fernandez, Minister of Social Development in the province, said she urged the public to make use of their facilities and to stop discrimination against those who suffer from a substance abuse disorder.
“As we commemorate the start of National Drug Awareness Week, I wish to remind the public that our services are here to help. Let us not discriminate or stigmatise those who suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD).
“Instead, let us all take responsibility to help prevent abuse in the first place and enable those who are struggling around us to overcome addiction and sustain their recovery.”
“The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD), with the support of its Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) partners, continues to provide quality substance abuse treatment and early intervention services across the province despite financial constraints.
“During the 2021/22 financial year, 9199 individuals accessed substance abuse prevention and treatment services offered by the department and its partners.
“The DSD, with the support of its NPO partners, provides a wide array of (SUD) programmes, ranging from prevention, early intervention through to community-based and in-patient rehabilitation and aftercare services. All programmes funded by the DSD are registered in accordance with the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, Act 70 of 2008.
“No one grows up thinking they are going to become addicted to alcohol or drugs.
“I would like to thank all the individuals, communities, organisations and civil society working together to help provide support to those experiencing a substance use disorder.
“Anybody needing more information or assistance can contact us on the www.heretohelp.co.za website or the DSD hotline on 080 022 0250.”