Gauteng government welcomes youth interest in rehabs

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SEDIBENG.- Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza yesterday (Sunday) welcomed youth that are interested in rehabilitation after about 40 young people stormed the Dr Fabian and Florence Ribeiro Treatment Centre, in Tshwane on Saturday night.

About 40 or more youths believed to be from Mamelodi demanded to be admitted at the centre late about 8PM on Saturday without being properly processed in terms of the government’s rehabilitation’s admission procedures.

“We are encouraged by the interest amongst the youth in Tshwane to find solutions themselves. But it is important that proper procedures are followed. Otherwise we run serious health risks. If patients are not clinically assessed to eliminate possibilities of communicable diseases, this might create untold health problems. Secondly, such good initiatives could be easily used by rival gangs who could place the lives of current patients in danger,” Mayathula-Khoza said.

The MEC said the first price is always prevention and early intervention.

“I understand these young people were joined by some of their parents. I wish we could have them cooperating with government to ensure prevention because it is the most primary proactive measure. We have several services including our Ke Moja campaign which is slang for I am OK without drugs,” the MEC explained.

She said the prevention and awareness campaigns are community and school based. These initiatives focus on preventing serious harm to high risk learners. These are done through group therapy sessions, alcohol safety schools, diversion programmes, behaviour modification camps.

“But if people must be admitted, we need to provide them with provision of specialised social, psychological and medical services to service users and to persons affected by substance abuse with a view to addressing the social and health consequences associated therewith. The processes include detoxification, pharmaco-therapeutic and therapeutic interventions (individual, group, family) after care and assess them for options designated treatment services are provided by Multi-Disciplinary team of professionals that include social workers, Professional Nurses, Medical Practitioners, Psychologists, Occupational Therapist, Psychiatrist,” the MEC said.

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