Newspaper clipping – The Cape Argus – 3 February 2010
Schools targeted in new drug drive
The Western Cape provincial government is to launch a five-year plan to tackle the growing drug problem, particularly at schools.
Substance abuse services are to be streamlined and money saved by eliminating duplication.
The first step will be a review of school programs to determine shortcomings. One already identified is that fact that there are only 49 social workers for more than 1000 schools.
The life orientation curriculum will also be assessed to establish whether it’s helping to curb drug abuse among teens.
Other suggestions include deploying psychologists who will screen pupils, as well as increasing afternoon care and extra-mural activities.
Robert Macdonald, spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille’s office, said the provincial government was finalizing the plan, which would cover schools, hospitals and clinics.
Macdonald said while there were services to deal with substance abuse they were too “fragmented”.
The Medical Research Council says existing interventions are failing to curb adolescent substance abuse.
Andreas Pluddeman, senior researcher at the MRC’s drug and alcohol abuse unit, said:
Nariman Khan, the spokesperson for Safe Schools, agreed that the measure to fight the drug scourge could be increased.