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2011-04-05: Johannesburg takes action against drug and alcohol abuse

Johannesburg is concerned about growing trends in drug and alcohol abuse in the city and will work together with law-enforcement agencies and rehabilitation organisation to counter this scourge.

Speaking at the opening of a new drug rehabilitation centre in Randburg, Johannesburg Mayor Clr Amos Masondo said intends to establish of Local Drug Action Committees (LDACs) within communities to help people at risk, prevent drug-related crime, provide access to treatment and rehabilitation and ensure quality of life for residents.

“Drug abuse affects the entire spectrum of our society – from our very affluent communities to the poorest of the poor,” said Mayor Masondo.

Among the most commonly drugs used by youth in Johannesburg are dagga, cocaine, nyaope, crack, codeine, ecstasy, heroin and mandrax. “But we are also concerned about a growth in the abuse of household substances such as glue, spray cans and petrol fumes which can be extremely harmful to your health and may lead to sudden death.”

The new Randburg centre is a partnership between the City of Johannesburg and SANCA – the SA National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence. In terms of this partnership the City provides the facilities while SANCA is responsible for management and the provision of treatment, rehabilitation and after-care services.

Mayor Masondo said the City decided on the partnership approach because most of the privately-owned treatment centres in Johannesburg is not accessible to addicts coming from poor families that are unable to pay for lengthy rehabilitation programmes.

Statistics paint a worrying picture about the extent of abuse in South African society:

Recent studies indicate an unacceptable increase in substance abuse – but also that the age of first experimentation is dropping;
Drug and alcohol abuse affects 0,6 % of the South African population – which is twice the level of world norm. South Africa finds itself 10th in the world when it comes to alcohol abuse.

Mayor Masondo said Johannesburg also provides services through its Youth Development Strategy which includes health promotion and positive interventions to reach young people involved in drugs or at risk of being drawn into the lifestyle.

The City also works closely with law enforcement officials from the SAPS and the JMPD in preventative actions in alignment with the objectives of the National Drug Master Plan.


Ends

Released on behalf of the City of the Executive Mayor Clr Amos Masondo

For inquiries contact:
Nkhensani Makhobela
Spokesperson for the Executive Mayor
City of Johannesburg
Tel: 011 407 7524
Fax: 011 339 5407
Cell: 082 461-7075