"We Can't Donate Our Children's Future to Drugs!" Gauteng Launches Anti-Substance Abuse Helpline as Nyaope Addiction Now a Crisis
The Province launches an integrated programme aimed mainly at combatting nyaope abuse as desperate parents in poorer communities say their children are becoming slaves to addiction.
Siphumalele Khumalo, The Citizen
1 November 2022 at 06:00:00
The Gauteng provincial government on 25 October 2022 launched an anti-substance abuse helpline, following the cries of desperate parents whose children are ‘slaves’ to nyaope addiction.
The drug intervention is an integrated programme with the departments of health, social development, agriculture, rural development and environment.
Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi said a particular issue in communities is ‘Nyaope’.
Nyaope is a street drug commonly found in South Africa, which is a mixture of low grade heroin, cannabis products, antiretroviral drugs and other materials added as cutting agents.
Lesufi said that ever since that announcement, the department has been inundated with lots of calls from parents who want help for their children and some even go as far as coming with their children to their offices.
“So we had to build a proper infrastructure that can screen, take calls and can also identify areas where the problems are” he told The Citizen during last Tuesday’s walkabout, which was to officially launch the campaign. “We are making the number public.”
“It is only from today that the team will be in a position to assist. We have been hard at work to ensure that the arrangements are top class and the arrangements will respond to the needs. We want to take everyone who is willing to be assisted.”
“The issue of Nyaope is a serious problem. We can’t donate the future of our children to drugs. We can’t surrender the future of our children to drugs.”
He also said that the calls for assistance started to come in from areas such as Hammanskraal, Kagiso, Soshanguve, Diepsloot and Zola.
“The 24-hour anti-substance abuse call centre service, led by trained call centre agents, is a platform for parents/caregivers to make applications for children and young people addicted to drugs to be accommodated at a state rehabilitation facility for treatment. “
Premier Lesufi added that the programme also has a strong skills support programme as well as a post rehabilitation programme.
“We are also putting up a programme, where even post rehabilitation, we don’t want them to go back to that life. They must know that they are loved and cared for.”
The helpline can be accessed on 0800 228827 or GPAntiSubstanceAbuse@Gauteng.gov.za or USSD *134*474727# and follow the prompts
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