Rehab centre overcome with addicts

CAPE TOWN - An in-patient facility for recovering drug addicts is battling to keep up with the increasing number of people needing help. 

The Western Cape Youth Rehabilitation Centre (WCYRC) currently has a four-month waiting list for individuals seeking treatment.

However, the wait can extend as long as six months before admittance.

"I think the scope of the problem is clearly an indication that families and certainly service providers need more support in terms of managing the problems," said WCYRC Director Shahieda Allie.

Substance abuse in the Western Cape is rife.

Last year more than 3,000 addicts requested treatment at 26 rehab facilities.

But facilities, whether private or state-subsidised, are not enough to deal with the number of addicts needing help.

Some experts said the type of treatment is dependent on the nature of the addiction because not all addicts require in-patient facilities.

"In-patient facilities are certainly needed, but we certainly need more outpatient facilities as well.

"The problem is huge. A handful of outpatient treatment programmes is not going to cut it," said Anton Wessels, director of Start to Stop. 

But the Western Cape Department of Social Development said they are doing their best with the facilities they have.

"We are doing very well in the province. I think we’re kind of light years ahead of other provinces," said social development MEC Albert Fritz.