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Campaign launched in SA to fight drug, alcohol abuses

12-15-2011 19:04 BJT

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- A campaign has been launched across the country to fight the abuse of drug and alcohol, authorities said on Thursday.

One major target of the campaign is the Western Cape because the province has the largest problem of drug and substance abuse in the country, particularly the use of tik, a drug popular among drug addicts, according to the local news outlet BuaNews.

All communities across the country should step up and take the lead in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse, said Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Several stakeholders, including the South African Police, religious institutions and non-profit organizations, took part in the campaign.

Dlamini challenged communities to stop asking what the government was doing about the problem, but instead, to ask themselves what they could do to stop the scourge.

She said that communities should not allow taverns to be built close to schools, to be run "day and night", or to sell alcohol to children less than 18 years.

"It's your responsibility to ensure that taverns are not built close to schools," she said.

She said that if such alcohol outlets were located near schools, it could result in both teachers and learners going out to drink and perhaps even girls being raped.

Dlamini took issue with adverts which lure children to drink beer, whisky or other substances.

Drug abuse, particularly the use of heroin, is increasing at an alarming rate in South Africa.

The HIV/Aids crisis in South Africa is also aggravated as a result of drug addicts injecting themselves with heroin. According to a report released by the United Nations Narcotics Control Board, the past three years saw an increase of 40 percent in the number of heroin users injecting themselves intravenously.

In Cape Town the use of "hard" drugs, especially heroin, has recently increased tremendously and the city is now regarded as the drug capital of South Africa. Growing numbers of black youths in Cape Town become addicted to heroin; children as young as 11 years receive treatment in rehabilitation center, according to research by independent newspapers.

Closely behind Cape Town is Pretoria, one of the cities in South Africa with the highest drug turnover per month.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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