'Tik', Cannabis, Alcohol and Heroin remain primary substances of use | Western Cape Government


'Tik', Cannabis, Alcohol and Heroin remain primary substances of use

11 March 2021

The latest Phase 47 report (2021) compiled by the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) reveals that in the Western Cape, the primary substances of use reported by 37 specialist treatment centres/programmes participating in the project between July – December 2019 were ‘Tik’ (30%), cannabis (25%), alcohol (19%) and heroin (14%), together comprising 89% of all admissions.

Overall, 2654 persons were treated across all 37 treatment centres in the second half of 2019.

Across all sites between 70% – 88%  of the clients were identified as male, however, gender differences were noted for various primary substances of use. The Western Cape has experienced a gradual increase in the proportion of female patients accessing treatment over the past five years.

“If you or your loved ones are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), the right guidance and support can help you live a life of sobriety, and in doing so, being able to help yourself and those around you.

Getting the right treatment now will help your loved ones in the future. The Department of Social Development (DSD) holds a database with all the registered Substance Abuse treatment options in the province,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.

The availability of easy-access, high-quality treatment services is an important means for tackling SUD and reintegrating individuals back into society. For this reason, many projects and initiatives financed by the provincial DSD are focused on improving the availability and quality of treatment facilities.

The provincial DSD with the support of its Non-Profit Organisation (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 programs funded by the Department are registered in accordance with the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, Act 70 of 2008.

Services offered by the Department and its NPO partners include, amongst others:

•         Awareness, primary prevention, early intervention, aftercare services;

•         Specialized services for victims of gender-based violence. Female service users can also be admitted with their minor children for the duration of their treatment.

•         Specialized treatment for adolescent boys between 13 and 17 years of age, at two funded inpatient treatment centres; and two for boys and girls at DSD own centres;

•         Residential or Inpatient Treatment centres and non-residential outpatient (also known as community-based) treatment centres for adults;

•         Reintegration and after-care support;

•         School-based programs at identified high-risk schools aimed at early detection and appropriate interventions for children involved in substance abuse.

“I would also like to thank all the individuals, communities, organisations and civil society working together to help provide support to those experiencing a substance use disorder. The services being offered are here to help the public,” concluded Minister Fernandez.

Finding the right help:

The Department recently launched its substance abuse campaign that makes use of a series of videos and visuals depicting that when you access the right help for yourself, your loved ones can be positively affected too. 

A key focus of the campaign is alerting the public about the importance of accessing the right help for any person dealing with a substance use disorder (SUD), and how the right help can make all the difference in getting their lives back on track.

Please see link to campaign here: https://www.facebook.com/WesternCapeGovernment/posts/4370120086336929

If you or someone you care about has a substance use disorder or if you feel that you can’t cope with the symptoms of substance abuse in your home or place of work, getting help is the first step.

The treatment of a SUD is a process, and ongoing support is provided throughout a programme.

For more information on how to get the right help call 0800 220 250,  or visit our local offices at the Department of Social Development or visit www.westerncape.gov.za/substance-abuse.

Unregistered treatment facilities:

Unregistered treatment centres may not comply with the prescribed norms and standards, hence people accessing such services should be aware that they run the risk of being swindled out of money.

In worst-case scenarios, they may have their rights violated, run the risk of injury, even death. Unregistered facilities may not have trained staff, expertise or resources to deal with crises and/or complications associated with addiction.

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949

Email: Joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za­