Drug abuse morphing, getting complicated in Beitbridge

Ellen Mlambo
Two Nations

BEITBRIDGE – Drug abuse is not only spreading its tentacles fast but morphing and getting more complicated to deal with in the border town of Beitbridge.This is what stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse told an Inter- Ministerial Committee on drug and substance abuse -supply reduction pillar that was on a familiarisation tour of Beitbridge yesterday.More than 114 mental cases were reported in Beitbridge District in the first four months of this year alone and several deaths involving pupils, according to representatives and heads of Government Departments at the meeting.

More complex to the problem is that drug abusers are now increasingly turning to substance abuse. This means that one cannot remove the problem by cutting off supply lines as the addicts have morphed and can use many other things in the place of direct drugs.The prevalence of drug and substance abuse amongst the youths in Zimbabwe has reached an alarming level and in Beitbridge stakeholders have called for a rehabilitation centre.

The committee, headed by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Social Development Officer Grace Ruocha was told that drug addicts now boil diapers and drink the water to intoxicate themselves and they also extract substances from light bulbs and smoke them. They smoke tissue papers and mosquito coil. The smuggling of drugs like broncleer and dagga into the country through the country’s borders is no longer the only key problem.At one quarantine center in the town, deportees from South Africa with mental problems left the place with no lights after they vandalized bulbs for substances and also went on to dismantle air conditioners.

Beitbridge District Mental Health focal person, Juliana Karenyi told the Committee that the Ministry is now overwhelmed by the problem of substance abuse in the town. The meeting was held at the District Development Coordinator’s (DDC) office and was chaired by the Principal Administrative Officer Jahson Mugodzwa on behalf of the DDC. Read the news on Masvingo Mirror website for free if you have an Econet line. No need for data bundles.

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