eNCA Interview: Alcohol Harms Reduction – Can policy changes help stop harmful drinking by the youth?

Substance abuse, which includes alcohol, is a scourge at the root of many of South Africa’s social, public health and economic problems. So, when a new state policy comes along that has the potential to prevent the abuse of liquor and drugs, we need collective input to ensure that the policy has force and benefits the public. Now is the time for the public to have their say.

The Department of Social Development (DSD) recently released the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Use Disorders Policy for public comment and the deadline for input is fast approaching on 10 December 2023. On paper, this comprehensive policy goes a long way to strengthen the fight against substance abuse, but it stops short of establishing a mechanism to address the harmful effects of alcohol.

eNCA spoke to Zimasa Mpemnyama, Project Lead and spokesperson for DGMT’s Alcohol Harms Reduction campaign about “pens-down parties” at the end of the year, harmful drinking among the youth and how policy changes can address this.

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