Western Cape fights Coloured drug and alcohol abuse

Coloured youth smoking a substance in the Western Cape
Coloured youth smoking a substance in the Western Cape

The Western Cape provincial government has budgeted R87 million to fight drug and alcohol abuse, premier Helen Zille said on Monday.

“Our commitment in this regard has led to a doubling of our annual budget for interventions to address substance abuse over the last four years, from just R42 million when we came into office in 2009, to R87 million this year,” she said.

“This budget also includes increased allocation for public information provision and early intervention services to help prevent the onset of drug and alcohol abuse.”

She said half a billion rand would be invested in the awareness and education programme over the next five years, should the Democratic Alliance remain in office.

The provincial government was also in discussion with the health department and the Sultan Bahu treatment centre in Mitchell’s Plain, with a view to establishing South Africa’s first outpatient opiate replacement programme.

“This initiative is aimed at addressing the harms associated with shifting trends toward heroin abuse in the province.”

She said the province had made great strides in reducing drug and alcohol-related harms over the past four years. – Sapa