The latest Phase 45 report (2019) 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 35 specialist treatment centres/programmes between the July- December 2018 were cannabis (30.5%), ‘Tik (27.6%), alcohol (19.8%) and heroin (11.4%) which together, comprise 89 percent of all admissions.
Overall, 2719 people were treated across all 35 treatment centres in the second half of 2018.
Across all sites, between 73 percent of people 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.
“A range of organisations are implementing community-based harm reduction services for people who use drugs. The availability of easy-access, high quality services for treatment is an important means for tackling the problem of drug and alcohol abuse and reintegrating substance abusers into society. For that reason, many projects and initiatives financed by our department are concerned with improving the availability and quality of treatment facilities. Presently, the Department uses statistical information on people with substance use disorders accessing treatment to assist in determining patterns of prevalence and demand in the province, ” says Minister Fernandez.
DSD is continuously working to expand the reach and quality of our substance abuse treatment and intervention services, across the province despite financial constraints.
The Department currently funds 6 NGO-run inpatient treatment facilities,13 community based treatment NGOs which render treatment across 30 sites, 21 NGOs which render early intervention services from 29 sites and 10 NGOs which render aftercare services across 16 sites.
Minister Fernandez said: “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. Our services are here to help the public. Anybody needing more information or assistance can contact us on the www.heretohelp.co.za website, or the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.”