Western Cape sees spike in drug abuse among teens

Monday marks International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

Heroin. Picture: sxc.hu

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre says there's a spike in hard drug abuse among Western Cape teenagers.

Monday marks International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

At the same time, a survey has revealed that addictions to over the counter medications are on the rise.

Clinical psychologist Cathy Karassellos says that dagga, alcohol, heroin and tik are the four substances causing the biggest problems.

“There is a lot available for the community who are struggling with drug problems in the family. But it’s a huge problem in the Western Cape. And we are seeing younger people... we have an adolescent programme and we have people as young as 13 or even 12 coming into our programme.

“We also have a separate programme for adults. So with hard drugs what we are seeing is dagga, and I include that specifically as a hard drug because it’s causing enormous problems and it's usually the drug that the teenagers are using and it really does cause a lot of problems.”