Drugs in Newcastle. Central Drug Authority inspects local rehab centres

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The Central Drug Authority (CDA) is inspecting treatment facilities across South Africa’s nine provinces.

The CDA’s monitoring visits will continue throughout October as it supervises the National Drug Master Plan. This will be done in honour of Social Development Month.

According to the CDA, there has been an anecdotal increase in societal demand for access to treatment centres. This rise has been particularly evident since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown. This increase is assumed to be due to loss of income, life uncertainty, and the subsequent rise in depression. Which in some cases leads to substance abuse.

Given this, the rising need for treatment centres demands that the CDA guarantees that government-funded or managed treatment centres are adequately equipped to handle the inflow.

The CDA will visit drug addiction treatment centres managed and/or sponsored by the government. This is to oversee and monitor the efficacy of programmes provided to persons suffering from drug abuse problems.

As part of the CDA’s monitoring inspections, Deputy Chairperson Nomcebo Dlamini visited Newcastle’s Khanyani Treatment Centre on Panorama Drive, Sunset View.

When it comes to tackling drug use in Newcastle and other towns, Dlamini believes it is not the CDA’s job to implement action plans. She claims that it is up to the Department of Social Development and the various municipalities. Community people are also crucial in resolving the problem.

However, this does not imply that the CDA is not proactive. “We have social media pages where we promote the treatment centres and share anti-addiction advice.”

Suppose individuals contact the CDA through these pages. In that case, the drug authority will direct them to the appropriate centres and capture their information. They will additionally contact the relevant stakeholders to establish contact with the individual.

Furthermore, treatment facilities are not always portrayed positively. Therefore, rebuilding trust in rehabilitation institutions will be a difficult challenge.

On the other hand, Dlamini states that the CDA is working on the issue, ensuring that the National Master Drug Plan is followed. If she is successful, she believes that people’s attitudes toward treatment centres will shift.

Focusing on aftercare and skill development is one method of regaining trust. Dlamini notes, “People seek treatment but occasionally revert to their old habits. This is due to despair, a lack of required skills to re-enter society or a lack of mental stimulation.” Former substance abusers can re-enter society with adequate aftercare and growth, eliminating the stigma associated with substance addiction.

Dlamini also believes that people’s perceptions of treatment need to be changed, stating that they think social workers use punitive measures and keep addicts locked up until they are detoxed.

Moreover, the treatment centre’s focal areas were noticed during the supervision visit to Khanyani Treatment Centre. The centre, which specialises in alcohol and drug misuse, is presently running a 12-week programme for boys and girls. 

The services are provided for free. There are 28 staff members on the site, each of whom is dedicated to the rehabilitation and progress of the users. People might choose to undergo therapy on their own or be forced to do so by a family member.

Dlamini says the CDA’s goals for ensuring the centre’s readiness can be viewed in the following video:

It should be emphasised that the CDA is a statutory organisation created under the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Act No 70 of 2008). The legislation grants the authority a range of authorities and tasks.

They are as follows:

  1. Supervise and monitor the National Drug Master Plan’s execution.
  2. Submit an annual report outlining a thorough summary of national initiatives to combat drug misuse.
  3. Ensure the establishment of efficient prevention, early intervention, re-integration, and aftercare programmes, with a special emphasis on the prevention of HIV infection and other medical repercussions associated with substance misuse.
  4. Advise the government on drug abuse and drug trafficking policies and programmes.

As the CDA now guarantees that South Africa’s treatment facilities are up to standard, what are your opinions? 

Share your thoughts in the comments area below.

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