Graduates celebrate breaking drug addiction

The City of Cape Town’s Health Department not only celebrated the graduation of those who have completed the Matrix® Programme at its eight sites this year, but also the programme’s 83% clean drug test rate.

The City’s substance abuse programme is open to anyone over 18 and follows the evidence-based Matrix® model.

Treatment consists of three to four sessions a week including counselling for clients and their families, skills that help clients stay sober, a relapse prevention group focusing on living without alcohol and drugs as well as a social support group.

‘Substance abuse continues to wreak havoc on individuals, households and communities. I commend those who have tackled their addiction by seeking help through the Matrix® programme and who want to change their lives for the better. It takes courage to admit you have a problem and even greater bravery to step forward and actively do something about it. We can only help those who are serious about helping themselves,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

For the first nine months of this year, 2 050 people were screened in the programme with just more than two-thirds being men.

The City of Cape Town first introduced the substance abuse treatment programme in 2008, with the launch of the first facility in Tafelsig, with sites following in Delft South, Town Two in Khayelitsha, Albow Gardens in Milnerton, Parkwood, Manenberg, Eerste River and Scottsdene.

The main substances of choice are Tik, dagga and alcohol.

Councillor Ronel Viljoen, Chairperson of the Community Services and Health Portfolio Committee, attended the graduation and encouraged the graduates to stay the course.

‘The festive season is a difficult time for people in recovery. The holiday mood; parties and stress around this time of year, may increase the risk of relapse. It is important to have a plan; schedule time; speak to your counsellor; continue attending support groups; find fun things and old hobbies to do that can take the place of substance use. The Matrix® sites will remain open during the festive season so that those who need help can access the help that they need,’ added Councillor Viljoen.

Caption 1: At the ceremony were Zukiswa Mandlana the Executive Director for Community Services and Health, Fiona Matthee, Councillor Ronel Viljoen, Ameerah van Reenen and Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

Caption 2: Portia Mbebe, in the middle, received a certificate for early recovery. On her left is Dr. Lenny Naidoo Manager: Specialised Health and on the right is Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

Source: City Of Cape Town

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