Dept: Alcohol the most abused substance

The WC Social Development Department has set aside R86 million to treat substance abuse.

FILE: The Western Cape Social Development Department has set aside R86 million to treat substance abuse. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Alcohol remains the most frequently abused substance in the Western Cape, the Department of Social Development said on Monday.

Officials set aside R86 million to treat substance abuse at 24 dedicated treatment facilities across the province.

Over the past five years, the department has almost doubled its budget to treat drug addicts, according to authorities.

The department's Robert McDonald says facilities treat 7,000 new addicts each year.

Officials noted a steady increase in abuse by young people.

"Among school-going youth, we see a lot of alcohol and dagga use. It can affect learning and motivation."

McDonald says tik is the most popular hard drug, followed by heroin and mandrax.