COMMENT: Do the right thing and stop drug abuse

The Chronicle

COMMUNITIES working with relevant authorities need to work extra hard in nipping the spread of drug abuse that is threatening the future of youths in the bud.

In a report carried in today’s paper, the youth are said to have gone a step further to abuse non-conventional substances to get high including powder from lamps, nappies among a host of items used for domestic purposes.

Previous reports have indicated that learners in schools in Victoria Falls, some as young as Grade One, have been snorting powders from powdered drinks in the same manner that drug addicts sniff cocaine.

The youths have resorted to non-conventional drugs which are cheaper than  the hard ones as they are also easily accessible.

The country is already battling an increase in substance abuse with health authorities saying most youths admitted at mental facilities are there due to substance abuse.


Responding to the drug menace, President Mnangagwa recently launched the National Anti-Drug and Substance Abuse Campaign.

Speaking this week, Bulawayo provincial chairperson on Supply Reduction pillar in the Inter-ministerial Taskforce on Drug Abuse and Substance Abuse Mr Munotyei Muparadzi said while more attention is given to hard drugs there is a need to also put more focus on the abuse of non-conventional drugs.

“The trajectory for drug abuse is increasing across the country especially among the youths. At the moment there is also the advent of what is known as the non-conventional substances. I think all of us have heard stories of youths abusing things like disposable nappies, youths abusing things like bulbs, youths abusing medicines like Broncleer, abusing medicines for mental health patients among others. This is the scourge that we also need to look at because it’s not only hard drugs which are a menace,” he said.

Acting Regional Immigration officer Mr Lucky Matyora shared similar sentiments, saying the non-conventional drugs include anything that members of the public take to get high and are easily accessible.

“Non-conventional drugs are prevalent, they are being used. The most abused substance is the everyday substance used in homes, sunlight liquid, air freshener and everything that can make people high. Some of them it’s through experiments, some of them we have our children in high school, children studying chemistry and in the absence of parents they do their experiments and they get high,” said Mr Matyora.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said collective efforts are needed if the country is to successfully deal with the drug menace.

Asst Comm Nyathi said some vendors were even selling cakes laced with drugs to the public.

“President ED Mnangagwa has set up an inter-ministerial taskforce but one of the challenges that we face is that drug-related activities take place in homes and in some instances, in Bulawayo and Harare drugs are being abused where people will be drinking beer.

As they are drinking beer, they are trading in drugs and some of the drugs are being sold by women. We have arrested women in Harare in Chitungwiza, we have arrested women here in Makokoba for dealing with cocaine just imagine. We really need to put our heads together if we are to fight the menace of drugs,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

“Even in some colleges we have a challenge of drugs, Form Three and Form Four boys getting involved in drug peddling. We also have some cakes where we have some vendors selling

Cakes laced with drugs – image taken from Shutterstock

and they are selling them to the children and in the process it affects the whole society.”

What is clear is that the country is facing an imminent drug crisis until everyone plays their part in arresting drug abuse.

Parents are urged to closely monitor their children and also take note of the characters they socialise with.

Drug peddlers live among communities and most of them are known but strangely they are allowed to poison society.

Communities must therefore join hands with law enforcement agents to flush out such elements from their environs as they are a dangerous cancer eating into the country’s future.

Parents must not fold hands just because it is not their children affected by drug abuse as it could only be a matter of time before they join the bandwagon. Do the right thing and stop drug abuse.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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