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Zimbabwe faces rising drug abuse problem

by Staff Reporter
29 Oct 2021 at 07:53hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is experiencing an upsurge in drug abuse cases and most of those abusing the drugs are young people.

Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said concerted efforts are needed to address the rising substance abuse problem.

He said this while responding to legislators during the Senate's Question and Answer session recently after senators asked him how Government was tackling the drug abuse in society.

Senators blamed the availability of cheap alcohol for the rising alcoholism problem.

"These children are not only taking beer but they are being introduced to drugs like crystal meth. When you hear them say 'sticking', it means when they take those drugs, they can sit in one place for up to three days without feeling hungry or doing anything. We are also hearing that they are now going after diapers, even used ones. We heard diapers contain substances which if taken orally will make someone drunk," said Dr Mangwiro.

"We have heard this from doctors when some patients come to the clinic or hospitals. We have been told that they wash and boil the diapers and drink the residue. We also heard that some are using fertiliser." Deputy Minister Mangwiro said collective efforts are required if the country is to effectively address the substance abuse problem.

"Many children, even those at secondary school, are taking drugs. We used to hear that this was prevalent in low density areas but now this has spread to high density suburbs. We agree with what you have said and we will do everything within our powers to stop youths from abusing drugs. They will end up stealing household gadgets from their parents because they want to use that money to buy drugs. They can do anything when they are drunk," he said. Dr Mangwiro said the country has not faced such high levels of drugs abuse before.

He said police among other Government departments were conducting investigations to establish those importing the drugs.

"Our national policy says that drugs that are not licensed are not allowed in the country. So, they are illegally brought into the country. Government, together with the Ministry of Home Affair are trying to curb the smuggling of these drugs and also find out the people importing the drugs," he said.

Deputy Minister Mangwiro said Government was working on plans to establish rehabilitation centres at district and provincial level to assist the affected youths. "These young people must be re-integrated back into society because we are losing a whole generation," he said. Dr Mangwiro said there is also a need to step up anti-drug awareness campaigns as some of the youths abusing drugs do not know their effects.

"We will try during these campaigns to explain so that children understand and know how dangerous drugs are," he said.

Source - Chronicle