FOREWORD BY THE MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The impact of alcohol and substance abuse continues to ravage families, communitiesand society. The youth of South Africa are particularly hard hit due to increases in theharmful use of alcohol and the use and abuse of illicit drugs.The use of alcohol and illicit drugs impact negatively on the users, their families andcommunities. Alcohol and drugs damage the health of users and are linked to rises innon-communicable diseases including HIV and AIDS, cancer, heart disease andpsychological disorders. Users are also exposed to violent crime, either as perpetratorsor victims and are also at risk of long-term unemployment due to school dropout andfoetal alcohol syndrome, being in conflict with law and loss of employment. The socialcosts for users are exacerbated due to being ostracised from families and their communities. In acute cases users are at risk of premature deaths due ill health, peopleinvolved in accidents as well as innocent drivers, violent crime and suicide.The harmful use of alcohol and drugs exposes non-users to injury and death due topeople driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and through being victims of violent crime. Socially, the families of addicts are placed under significant financialpressures due to the costs associated with theft from the family, legal fees for users andthe high costs of treatment. The emotional and psychological impacts on families andthe high levels of crime and other social ills have left many communities under siege bythe scale of alcohol and drug abuse.The revised National Drug Master Plan 2013
2017 and the work done by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Alcohol and Substance Abuse seek to address thesechallenges. The Inter-Ministerial Committee has worked on policies, laws andstrategies that seek to reduce the supply and demand for alcohol and illicit drugs.Extensive work is also being done to improve treatment for addicts and other harmreduction modalities The National Drug Master Plan complements the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse by guiding and monitoring the actionsof the government departments to reduce the demand for and supply of drugs and theharm associated with their use and abuse.The Government further displayed its commitment through the leadership of thePresident when intervening in the challenges faced by the community of Eldorado Park. A special intervention plan was developed in line with the pillars prescribed in theNational Drug Master Plan 2013-2017.