Today, 45 community representatives – who work in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse – received their certificates after graduating from the innovative Substance Abuse Treatment Course at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
the Western Cape Government media release continues – “The programme is funded by the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) at all three provincial universities, and provides an 8 course undergraduate programme at the UWC, and a specialist postgraduate programme at all 3 universities.
In total, the Department allocated just under R4.8-million to fund 66 graduates to complete the course at all three provincial universities;
- University of Cape Town (Humanities): 15 students are trained in the post graduate course on addiction,
- University of Cape Town (Health Science): 13 students in Post Graduate in Addictions,
- University of the Western Cape: 25 students funded by DSD, and an additional 20 funded by the UWC, saw 45 graduate in total,
- Stellenbosch University: 13 students trained in addiction.
This course was developed in response to a lack of training programmes available in the field of drug and alcohol treatment intervention services, and is in line with Provincial Strategic Goal 3 which calls on us to increase wellness, safety and tackle social ills. The programme helps to create greater capacity and skills in the sector.
The programme has been running since 2011, and is producing substance abuse treatment practitioners in our communities who are better equipped to help users beat addiction.
As DSD we are at the forefront of the fight against drug and alcohol abuse. Our policy response to substance abuse is about achieving harm reduction, which is why over the last 5 years we more than doubled the substance abuse budget, and this financial year will spend just over R104 million.
Our approach as government is to focus on;
- early intervention,
- statutory services and,
- aftercare support programmes.
DSD funds 36 NGOs working in the substance abuse treatment sector and 51 sites across the province.
The Department will continue to build partnerships aimed at growing treatment capacity and skills in the sector. We can reduce the harms of substance abuse if we continue to work, ‘Better Together’.