Home OpinionEditorial Comment Community is part of the panacea to drug abuse

Community is part of the panacea to drug abuse

by commuadmin

Editorial Comment 

From the Zimbabwe National Drug Masterplan launched early this year by the government, it was realized that alcohol and drug abuse remains one of the top causes of mental health in the country.
Episode drinking, crystal meth, codeine, cocaine, and glue sniffing are some of the major highlights in the drug world.
Zimbabwe has the highest number of 15 to 19-year-olds in Africa who engage in heavy “episodic drinking”, at 70.7 percent among males and 55.5 percent among females, according to a World Health Organisation.
Reports derived from the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse created by the President this year to curb the rise in abuse revealed that over 1 150 cases of drug-related offenses were handled by the Narcotics Unit in a year space.
It has also been claimed that over 800 drug addicts have been taken into rehabilitation centers across the country.
The push and pull factors for both drug dealers and drug abusers are almost similar. The stress economy has led some into the drug business and has led some into “addicts”.
The government has also been blamed for the decimation of recreational spaces, where young people used to spend time.
In one of our recently published articles on the #HowFar campaign in Gweru, one of the local youths said, “Drug abuse has increased in areas like Mambo, Mkoba, and Mtapa due to the absence of recreational facilities so that young people can desist from drugs.” He claims that some of the said facilities in Gweru have been turned into residential stands.
There is a direct correlation between the socio~eco~political state of things in Zimbabwe and the rise of drug peddlers and abusers in the country.
Social structures that used to hold families together and groom exemplary kids for future generations are also fading by the day. Families, guardians, and parents also have a critical role to play in the fight against drugs.
Family is one of the strongest institutions that determine how people view the world and also determines life perspectives.
More needs to be done as strategies introduced by the government do not necessarily include the role of the community in fighting the proliferation of drugs.
Society must come together and stand against drug dealers in the community. Some of the popular drug dealers are well connected and the long arm of the law somehow “fail to reach their vicinity.”
This depicts some loopholes in the legal system, but above everything, the country needs to address the root problems. A lot of research has already been done and the causes are already widely known.
Some of the consistently mentioned reasons for the spike of drug abuse, especially during the Covid~19 pandemics include high rates of unemployment, stress, escapism, and idleness amongst young people.
The government should focus on investing in the lives of its citizens, to secure a drug-free future that contributes to the development of the country through the creation of a support system that helps people to recover from drug abuse.
Pan Africanist, Senator Shehu Sani recently said, “When a Government builds Roads, Bridges and Rail lines without securing the lives of the people who will use it, it’s simply beautifying a cemetery.”

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