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Joburg declares war on substance abuse Print E-mail
22 September 2017
Joburg declares war on substance abuse. It hosted an Anti-Drug Summit in Diepkloof, Soweto, on Thursday 21 September 2017 as part of its programme to roll out drug rehab centres across the city.

Speaking during the summit, which was attended by community organisations and stakeholders fighting the scourge of drugs in the City, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba said drug addiction was misunderstood and mistreated and that it was important to first understand what we are dealing with.

Mayor Mashaba said his administration was implementing a city-wide Local Drug Action Committee made up of decision-makers from civil society and community organisation, spheres of government, and policing and educational institutions to tackle the fight against drugs.

The City is to roll out five new outpatient facilities across the city that will treat drug addiction free of charge. These facilities will be in Tladi in Soweto, Eldorado Park, Westbury, River Park in Alex and the Johannesburg Inner City. Over 400 stakeholders that included departments in the city and province, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organisations in the drug prevention and treatment space and the private sector.

“Our aim is not to tackle substance abuse by only providing treatment, although that is a critical component, but it is to ensure that we deal with the root social factors that lead people to abuse substances in the first place,” said Cllr Mashaba adding that there will also be a 24-hour crisis line that will be linked to the city’s emergency call centres.

The crisis line will deal strictly with drug abuse related matters. The mayor also challenged the national government to police its borders vigorously and stop drugs from coming into the country and Johannesburg.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Mpho Phalatse said the City has adopted a multipronged approach in dealing with drug addiction.

Delivering her drug strategy at the Diepkloof Welfare centre during the launch of the summit, Phalatse said she will work closely with her fellow MMCs and other stakeholders as drug addiction was a complex challenge that needed a multiple approach.

“It is important that we act as a unit and apply our energies to eradicating drugs in our communities but above all prevent drugs from reaching our communities. We are linking all our drug rehab centres to our clinics as we believe that those who are battling addiction also face other health related challenges.

“It’s important that we link our services together so as to deal with root causes and other related challenges our people face.”


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