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De Lille visits rehab centre in Tafelsig

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The Matrix Rehabilitation Centre in Tafelsig is one of five drug and alcohol treatment sites in Tafelsig which have been established as part of the City’s focused substance abuse strategies. The out-patient centre has already assisted in the rehabilitation of hundreds of drug and alcohol addicts but not many residents are aware of the City’s health and social development programme.

In light of this, Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille visited the centre to assess their efforts and also raise awareness of the scourge currently plaguing the community in Mitchells Plain.

The Matrix Centre is not just an ordinary drug rehabilitation centre, as it currently operates as a clinic as well. While it assists many people dependent on drugs, the centre has seen a much higher rate of mental health issues, tuberculosis and unplanned pregnancies.

The centre’s Warren Burnshams said one of the best indications of a successful rehabilitation program is when the average clean drug tests are over 80%. This percentage has exceeded the city’s target of 65% drug free tests at all five sites.

“As soon as people walk through our doors, seeking our help, they are immediately screened, taken to a counselor and offered immediate assistance. The services at this clinic are free of charge and its programme incorporates the support of family and friends,” Burnshams explained.

The sixteen day program offers a lot more than just rehabilitation. Shafiq Albertus completed the program in 2012 after years of struggling with his drug addiction. Today, he is a shining example of the positive results achieved through the help of the Matrix Clinic.

“I am now a proud student at the University of Western Cape where I hope to complete my studies in social working. Through the counselling I received at this facility, I was inspired to use my story of overcoming an addiction and inspire others to follow suit,” Albertus said.

His story was echoed by five other drug free patients.

Mayor Patricia De Lille said the facility’s existence still needs to be brought to the attention of many areas where drug and alcohol is currently rife. According to the Mayor’s report, Matrix treatment sites are now accessible to people residing in Khayelitsha, Delft, Parkwood and Albow Gardens in Brooklyn.

“We commend all the staff and patients who have successfully been a part of change in the community. Through their hard work and perseverance, they were able to overcome many hardships in pursuit of a drug free life. I would like to encourage those still battling, to keep on pushing through so that they can turn their lives around and become role models in their respective communities,” De Lille added.

For more information contact the City’s 24-hour help line on 0800 4351 48. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)


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