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Lack of rehab centres forces ministry to use mental institutions

MPHO MOKWAPE
Ruth Maphorisa
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has revealed that it at times refers drug and substance abuse addicts to mental institutions for their rehabilitation.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Ruth Maphorisa admitted yesterday before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the country does not have any rehabilitation centre for drug addicts.

She confirmed that such absence of facilities has forced the ministry to at times refer addicts and those in need of rehabilitation to mental institutions despite the place not being suitable for such.

Maphorisa explained that at times they have no choice but to confine those who addicts and cannot function in mental institutions for rehabilitation while others, especially school-aged children, are offered counselling from organisations such as the Botswana Substance Abuse Support Network (BOSASNET). 

“Mental institutions are not conducive

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for rehabilitating drug and substance abusers, but at times we are forced to do so due to lack of suitable facilities,” she explained.

On the use of the alcohol levy, Maphorisa said they have access to the levy to refer those deeply affected by drug and substance abuse to outside facilities for rehabilitation. 

Maphorisa was responding to committee member Mephato Reatile who wanted to know what is being done about drug and substance abusers or addicts since there are no rehabilitation centres. 

He also wanted to know if the ministry was not able to use the alcohol levy for such referrals outside the country.



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