The South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA) challenged the public to kick one habit to the kerb for a week as part of its annual week-long #Kick-Your-Habit challenge.
The national campaign ran from Friday June 24 to Thursday June 30.
Corne Idas, a social worker at Sanca’s Tygerberg branch, said the challenge accompanied Drug Awareness Week and encouraged the public to ditch a dependency for a week, whether it was coffee, sugar or smoking.
“We went to the malls in the area and the clinics where we got to speak to people and raise some awareness on various issues including addiction,” said Ms Idas.
Sanca counsels drug addicts and alcoholics. The Tygerberg branch opened in 2009, and it is one of the busiest, according to Ms Idas.
“So far this year, we have seen and counselled 188 patients up until the end of June. There is a need for this type of service, especially in the northern suburbs. Our clients are getting younger and younger. We had one client who was 13 years old,” she said.
Sanca provides individual or group counselling over 16 weeks for adults fighting addiction, at a cost of R40 a session.
“This is a community-based treatment programme specifically for adults. We do a screening and drug test, and then we draw up a contract with our clients, which they have to sign and commit for the full 16 weeks,” said Ms Idas.
Social worker Jody Goodall heads up the early intervention programme for the youth.
Ms Goodall said most of those in the programme were referred either by their schools or local clinics.
“Once we receive a referral, we do a screening and an assessment of the client, with consent from their parents. I do individual counselling sessions with the client over a period of six weeks. When they complete the six weeks, they get a confirmation letter which is sent to the school.” Each session costs R20.
Ms Idas’s advises the families and friends of substance abusers to seek professional help.
“It helps to have someone who is objective and who is able to assist with counselling and can offer support to the family.
“It is often easier to get them to confide and open up to someone they do not know,” she said.
Sanca is funded by the National Lottery and the Department of Social Development, but Ms Idas said that only covered projects.
“The money we receive from our clients is used to cover the operational costs of the branch.”
Contact Sanca Tygerberg at 021 945 2099.