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By Siphumelele Khumalo


Gauteng government launches 24-hour anti-substance abuse helpline

"We can’t donate the future of our children to drugs. We can’t surrender the future of our children to drugs.”

The Gauteng provincial government on Tuesday launched an anti-substance abuse helpline, following the cries of desperate parents whose children are ‘slaves’ to addiction.

The drug intervention is an integrated programme with the department 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.

WATCH: Lesufi speaking at the launch:

“So we had to build a proper infrastructure that can screen, take calls and can also identify areas where the problems are.  Today’s walkabout was to officially launch, we are making the number public,” said Lesufi who was addressing media.

“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.”

Influx of calls at helpline

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.”

Contact details

The helpline can be accessed on 0800 228827 or GPAntiSubstanceAbuse@Gauteng.gov.za or USSD *134*474727# and follow the prompts

Compiled by Siphumelele Khumalo

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