More NMB clinics must be equipped to fight substance abuse: DA

JUNE 28, 2016

Despite "a growing substance abuse epidemic in Nelson Mandela Bay", there is still only one state-subsidised rehab centre in the entire Metro offering only a 9-week recovery programme, says the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Metro.

"Drug rehabilitation is a direct local government competency and it is an indictment on this administration for having failed to establish more outpatient clinics and programmes," says Athol Trollip, the DA Mayoral Candidate for Nelson Mandela Bay.

"According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 180 000 NMB residents struggle with substance abuse; this is a serious crisis which requires political will and decisive action."

Trollip says that the DA-led City of Cape Town has operationalised 6 Matrix Clinics across the Metro, all of which offer a free 16-week alcohol and drug outpatient programme.

"The programme is certified and run by the Matrix Institute in California, the world’s leader in addictions research and treatment.

"Since the 1st July 2011, these 6 clinics have provided assistance to 7502 clients, offering them a new start at life," he described.

"This is the story we need to be telling Nelson Mandela Bay, but that can only happen with a change of government."

He said that they would work with NGOs and other spheres of government to develop a strategy to combat alcohol and drug abuse, by introducing outpatient programmes at more clinics across the Metro.

"Furthermore, we will work with the provincial government to increase access to drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes, opening up more options for those struggling with substance abuse," Trollip said.

"We will also ensure that all clinics receive better municipal services and regular infrastructure maintenance, where required, to ensure that residents have access to quality facilities. This is the change we need to move forward again, ensuring that those who struggle with substance abuse are given an opportunity to have a new start at life."