CDA’s 3rd National Summit on Substance Abuse, Use and Illicit Trafficking 2023

The opening ceremony for the 3rd National Summit on Substance Abuse, Use and Illicit trafficking 2023 conference kicked off on the 14th of November 2023, at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre. The national drug master plan is an important part of the tool kit which will assist in reducing the drug and substance abuse. This summit must be a breakthrough for many who have been directly and indirectly affected.

Gauteng Premier Mr Panyaza Lesufi’s opening remarks set the tone for the summit and how the programme for the day should be delivered. He said, “we need to be brutally honest with ourselves as the province so that we can come up with new strategies and solutions to this disease. We are losing the fight against drugs and we need to prioritise the fight as number one.”

Minister Lindiwe Zulu Speaks on Drug Addiction Campaigns

The tools required to go to war and fight this disease are through the integration, collaboration, and being a united front as a country from the various stakeholders. Who will also hold one another accountable in ensuring that the conference resolutions are achieved.

One of the guest speakers, a mother whose son was also addicted to substance abuse at the age of 16 emphasised the need for adding workshops in addition to the life orientation subject at schools. Which will focus on informing and creating awareness to children through learning from early on the school career. An appalling finding was that some of these illegal substances are now sold on the internet, which is easily assessable by the most vulnerable. As well as over the counter medicine with codeine as an ingredient.