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The City of Cape Town’s Health Department officially opened their eighth Matrix® site for alcohol and drug treatment, this time in Scottsdene, Kraaifontein. Read more below:

The City is proud to offer the Matrix® programme at an eighth site and within the local community health facility. This will improve access to a range of evidence based treatment interventions to address alcohol and drug related issues, especially in the lead up to the festive season. This is a stressful time for many people for a number of reasons and can be a trigger for substance abuse. It’s also the time of year when alcohol is a prominent feature during celebrations,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

For the last financial year, July 2018 to the end June 2019, there has been 2 258 screenings at the other seven sites with the clean drug test rate for clients at 83% during the same period.

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

‘This service is there to help individuals who are struggling with addiction. Navigating the happy holidays can be tricky when excess is all around. We’re all affected by drug abuse in one way or another and entire families and communities feel the ripple effects whether because of domestic violence, child neglect or an increase in crime,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

The 16 week structured programme for adults aims to provide help so that addicts can stop using illicit substances, stay in treatment, learn about addiction and relapse, receive ongoing support from a trained therapist, become involved in self-help programmes and be monitored.

Treatment sessions, which involve individual, group and family therapy, are offered three times a week.

The City’s Health Department runs regular awareness campaigns and anyone willing to receive treatment for a substance abuse problem can either call or visit the site closest to them. They will be screened on the same day and will either slot into the programme or be referred to the appropriate help for their particular situation.

About the City’s Matrix® programme:

· Cape Town’s approach of placing substance abuse treatment in Primary Healthcare (PHC) was commended and it was decided to emphasize this point as a way forward for other countries.

· The Tafelsig site was the first certified Matrix® site outside the USA

· The World Health Organisation defines substance abuse dependency as a health issue and placing treatment in health facilities is progressive

· For the last several years the City Matrix® Sites have seen more patients than any other treatment centre in the Western Cape

· The City Matrix® sites are the only ones with certification with excellence

· HIV/AIDS testing is available at all the Matrix sites

The other sites are Tafelsig (opened on 26 June 2008); Albow Gardens (established at Tableview in 2008 but subsequently moved to Albow Gardens); Delft South (2009); Town 2, Khayelitsha(2012); Parkwood (2013); Ruimte Road, Manenberg (2015) and Eerste River (2019).

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