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Pretoria – The Tshwane Drug Abuse Hope-Line Centre, established in 2017, has touched lives and brought positive change to those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
MMC for health Sakkie du Plooy said he was satisfied with the impact of the initiative.
Yesterday, he conducted an oversight visit at the facility at Sediba Hope Medical Centre.
The MMC engaged young people trying to kick the habit and worried parents who sought help to change and save their children’s lives.
The centre was established in conjunction with non-profit organisations.
Social worker Tshepiso Nkosi said when people called for help they received the intervention of a counsellor and social worker, who conducted an assessment to find if they had other psycho-social issues, such as mental illness, abuse, poverty, stress and peer-pressure.
“These factors need to be addressed before a user can be put on a treatment plan like being sent to rehab or be put in a treatment programme,” said Nkosi.
“If not addressed, they return as contributing factors that would just set them back when they go back home or end their treatment programme. For instance, some of the users have mental health issues that need to be addressed before the in-patient rehabilitation programme, but only through the assessment are we able to identify those needs and refer them for remedial intervention before applying for the rehabilitation,” she said.
A Hammanskraal mother, who only wanted to be identified as Petunia to protect her identity, was there with her 35-year-old son.
She said she was deeply indebted to the programme for bringing her son back to his normal self and sense.
“My son was placed in a rehab facility in Brakpan around April after a woman from Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital referred me.
“He had messed up his life due to stress after his romantic relationship went sour.
“He worked as a security guard and his woman found work in the police. When they were fighting, he sought comfort in drugs and ended up being seen at work by his supervisors to not be doing well. Now my son is so calm and speaks to me like a man, with respect. He was so aggressive before that. And all I needed was just R150 pocket money for him before he was sent to the rehabilitation centre,” she said.
Du Plooy said the City was spending R30 million to fund the programme through the Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention in conjunction with the University of Pretoria.