CT drug programme celebrates 10 years

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Cape Town – On Tuesday, the City of Cape Town’s Health Department celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Matrix® Programme, which improves access to a range of treatment interventions to minimise the harm caused by drug and alcohol abuse.

“We opened our first Matrix® site in Tafelsig a decade ago and this has grown to include six other facilities,” said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

“From July 2017 to the end of March this year, a total of 1 566 screenings have been performed at the six sites, with the clean drug test rate for clients on the programme at 83%.”

Smith added that for the same period, 27 clients who completed the programme received short-term work opportunities.

“The Matrix® programme is more than just about making substance abuse treatment accessible and affordable to those most vulnerable,” Smith said.

The celebration included a certificate ceremony for clients who have participated and completed the programme, and also commemorated the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

According to the City, the service is based within local community health facilities and aims to improve access to a range of evidence-based treatment interventions, particularly for vulnerable people.

The treatment is offered free of charge and was based on methods developed by the Matrix® Institute in the USA.

“Drug abuse affects all of us in some way as we all know someone who knows someone who has a loved one with a drug problem,” Smith said.

“Entire families and communities suffer as drug abuse contributes to crime, child abuse and neglect, family violence and mental and physical health problems.”

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