Minister Fritz conducts oversight of Opiate Substitution Programme
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, today conducted a successful oversight visit of our Opiate Substitution Programme.
In response to the rising trend of opiate based drugs, such as heroin, one of the most innovative projects initiated by the Department of Social Development with our NGO partner, Sultan Bahu, is the Opiate Substitution Treatment Programme in Mitchells Plain.
At just over a year of operation, having begun as a pilot-project, the programme has registered encouraging and indeed world-class results, with the first two intake cycles of clients responding positively. Each treatment cycle is 6 months long, and is made up of a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, social workers and a psychiatric nurse.
The latest report indicated that of the first cycle of clients, 16 out of 21 clients (76.5%) who completed their statutory phase, are still testing negative for illicit substance use in their continuum of care.
The second cycle of 24 clients is currently undergoing treatment, and only 4 are testing positive, an encouraging drug-free percentage of 83.3% of clients.
These results are truly world-class, as they far exceed the treatment outcome expectations reported in international literature.
The department has for this financial year allocated just over R1.8-million (R1 865 600) to the Opiate Substitution Programme, which has already taken on 15 new clients, of which 93.3% are testing drug-free in their continuum of care.
In addition to the Opiate Substitution Programme, the department provides additional funding to the Sultan Bahu Centre for the provision of general substance abuse treatment for 600 people this financial year, and aftercare services for 360 people.
The Department of Social Development will continue to be at the forefront of reducing the harm caused by substance abuse. Over the last five years we have more than doubled our budget, and this year have allocated R92.662-million. However we cannot do this alone. If we are to achieve our targets, we must continue to build partnerships with NGOs, the private sector and communities. We can beat substance abuse if we continue to work ‘Better Together’.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 083 280 9199
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za