The Gauteng Provincial Government on Tuesday launched the substance abuse helpline, in line with Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s commitment to intensify the fight against drug addiction.
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.
“You will recall that when we announced the MEC for Social Development and GDARD, one of the key mandates we gave her was to respond to the challenges of substance abuse; in particular nyaope in our communities,” Lesufi said.
Ever since that announcement, the department has been inundated with calls from parents that wanted help for their children, according to the Premier.
“We therefore felt we needed to build an infrastructure that can take the calls, screen them, and identify areas where there are problems. Today’s walkabout was to officially launch the helpline as part of our intervention,” he explained.
This initiative forms part of an integrated programme with the department of health, social development, as well as the department of agriculture, rural development, and environment.
Lesufi added that the programme also offers a strong skills support and a post rehabilitation programme.
The helpline can be accessed on 0800 228827 or USSD *134*474727# and follow the prompts.