Chrysalis Pilot Drug Testing Project (CPDTP) sees major reduction in substance abuse in the Western Cape since its implemented last year, Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato said on Sunday.
“I have received an extensive report on the pilot project and would like to congratulate the Academy and their staff on the overwhelming success of this project”, said Plato.
He said that in 2011 a conditional grant of R90 000 was provided to the Western Cape’s Chrysalis Academy to implement a drug testing pilot project in the province.
According to him the project is aimed at reducing the level of substance abuse among the youth attending the Academy though random drug testing and an informative education programme around substance abuse.
“Substance abuse is a social ill that plagues many communities in the Western Cape, and was evident how prevalent the problem was when more than 50% of the students on one of the recent 3 month residential training programme admitted to substance abuse”, Plato said adding that while the academy is not a drug rehabilitation centre, but it has shown effectiveness in reducing numbers of the kids taking drugs in province.
He said that the project also trains staff to better identify substance abusers, reasons for substance abuse, and the related behavioural changes, so that they are better equipped to address these challenges and further help the students.
According to Lucille Meyer, CEO of the academy, “their self-esteem was raised”, “Our self-esteem was raised to such an extent that we asked that they have their certificates handed to them in front of other students, as an extra means of claiming in front of witnesses that they were determined to say ‘no’ to drugs, as was the goal of the group”.