Improving Addiction Care in South Africa: Development and Challenges to Implementing Training in Addictions Care at the University of Cape Town

Sonja Pasche, Sharon Kleintjes, Don Wilson, Dan J. Stein, Bronwyn Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

South Africa has a high lifetime prevalence of substance use disorders, estimated at 13.3% of the general population. Despite this high prevalence, treatment rates remain relatively low compared to need. A key reason for low treatment rates is the lack of expertise among professionals for the detection and treatment of substance use disorders and the limited size of the addiction care workforce. Workforce development is thus essential for the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to reduce substance-related harm within South Africa. In response to this need, the University of Cape Town has introduced a Postgraduate Diploma in Addictions Care and a Master of Philosophy in Addictions Mental Health. These postgraduate courses have been designed to equip health and social welfare professionals with the necessary skills to provide evidence-based early intervention, treatment and aftercare services for children, adolescents, adults and families affected by substance use disorders. This paper provides an overview of both programmes and reflects on lessons learnt from the inaugural group of students enrolled for the Postgraduate Diploma in Addictions Care and from the cohort of professionals who completed the Master of Philosophy in Addictions Mental Health since its inception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-332
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Education
  • South Africa
  • Substance use disorders

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