Matrix clients celebrate sobriety milestone

A total of 44 clients, who had completed various stages of the Matrix® treatment programme, graduated on Saturday February 23 at the Parkwood substance abuse treatment site.

The treatment programme, which was first introduced in Cape Town in 2008, is offered for free and is based on methods developed by the Matrix® Institute in the USA.

The goal of the model, which is a 16-week structured programme for adults, is to provide help so that addicts can stop using illicit substances, stay in treatment, learn about addiction and relapse, receive ongoing support from a trained therapist, become involved in self-help programmes and be monitored. 
Treatment sessions, which involve individual, group and family therapy, are offered three times a week.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, said: “Dealing with addiction is a difficult journey. It takes immense courage to acknowledge that you have a problem and to seek help. But that’s just the beginning. Staying in the programme, doing the work and then of course staying sober are just some more of the challenges that our clients face.”

He says the graduation ceremonies are intended to commend patients for staying the course, and to encourage them and their loved ones for what still lies ahead.

The City has six Matrix® substance abuse treatment sites in Delft South, Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Albow Gardens in Milnerton, Parkwood and Tafelsig in Mitchell’s Plain.

The facility in Town 2, Khayelitsha, has had the highest number of screenings (305), followed by Delft South (262).

Two-thirds of the clients screened are male. The most common substances that clients seek help for are tik, dagga, alcohol, heroin and mandrax.