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Holistic approach called for in dealing with drug abuse

22 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views

Suburban

HARARE residents have been urged report all drug peddlers in their communities so as to address drug and substance abuse which is affecting young people in most suburbs in the capital and countrywide.

Ivan Zhakata Suburban Reporter

The appeal comes after several concerns were raised about young people from suburbs such as Borrowdale, Mabelreign, Marlborough and Greendale among other northern suburbs taking harmful drugs which are detrimental to their mental and physical well-being. Though the uptake of illegal drugs such as common ones like Crystal Methamphetamine, popularly known as Guka, is high in high density suburbs, it is slowly increasing in low density suburbs much to the worry of parents and guardians.

The Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trusts (ZNOART) has since called on residents to expose illegal drug peddlers in their communities as the residents’ body escalates the fight against drug abuse.

“It is so painful how drugs are exchanged in our communities with this Guka (Crystal Methamphetamine) thing. In various communities, youths are dying because of this drug. As residents we must expose and report all drug paddlers so as to save our children as well as our communities and the country at large.

“We want your views and contributions on this scourge which is threatening the future of Zimbabwe. These drugs are dangerous to our children. It is systematic and you will be surprised how law enforcement people are into the cartel system because even if they got (drug paddlers) arrested they always come back,” said the residents’ organisation. 

ZNOART said it feels the Government should take action and the law take its course as residents alone cannot win the fight against drug abuse.

The body said if a person reports the matter to the police they end up being fools and it was paining the as their hands were tied.

“Let us name and shame those who are involved in the sale and distribution of Crystal Methamphetamine, Broncleer and other drugs. This stuff is definitely coming in from South Africa and how it is crossing the border is a mystery in itself because that is where we are supposed to have the tightest security. It is now or never, we cannot just be spectators whilst our future generations are destroyed,” ZNOART said. 

Early this month, The Borrowdale Ratepayers and Residents Association (BRRA) called on all community groups and leaders to come together and address the drug and substance abuse problem in the Borrowdale area.

BRRA chairperson Mr Robert Mutyasira said the ugly face of drug abuse was now a reality in the Borrowdale community and action had to be taken urgently. The BRRA leader appealed for a collective response from the community as well as ownership in tackling this social ill warning the community was sitting on a precarious catastrophe which many would want to pretend does not exist. 

“A catastrophe is staring us right in the face and is relentlessly pursuing the innocence of some young person close to you. The social impact is indescribable let alone the trauma a family has to undergo in dealing with the addiction. 

“We no longer have the luxury of analysing what is before us. Our response has to be in the immediate and all social structures and institutions must engage and come out guns blazing into a war that is undoubtedly beyond the advanced stage.” 

Mr Mutyasira said there was urgent need for an intervention by community leaders, religious organisations, advocacy groups, and law enforcement agencies to totally eradicate drug abuse.

Cabinet recently proposed a review of the National Policy on Drug and Substance Abuse and an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act as Government continues its fight against the escalating use of illicit substances in the country. President Mnangagwa recently appointed an inter-ministerial task force to find solutions to drug abuse, a plague that is affecting many youths in the country. Some of the short-term measures that Government is set to implement include the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe National Drug Master Plan and Treatment and Rehabilitation Guidelines of Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder of Zimbabwe and the identification and upgrading of existing mental health institutions that can admit affected children, youths and adults including a dedicated child psychiatric hospital in each province until they have recovered. Besides a review of the country’s laws, other medium-term measures include the establishment of a National Call Centre for drug and substance abuse which will provide online psychosocial support and related information.

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