via Drug abuse cause for concern – DailyNews Live 24 June 2014
HARARE – Drug abuse is a sign of a troubled and a hopeless life.
As reported elsewhere in this paper, the police, by their own admission, are grappling with ever increasing cases of abuse, chiefly among them, in Harare which has maintained a disturbing surge.
Zimbabwe, and indeed security agencies, need to develop new strategies to deal with this escalating problem.
The report by the police at the commemorations of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking last week was not a surprise.
Police found that Harare had the nation’s highest rate of drug abuse between 2013 and 2014.
They are dealing with over 100 drug cases every month.
But clearly the onus remains on the police to continue efforts to curb this scourge and do more.
For example, the State has made some strides in partnering with churches to stem this crisis. Of course, this crisis needs financial resources, which resources still fall way short of serving all the people who need help.
Without even more effort, this problem will not go away.
We applaud State efforts to confront the widespread abuse of drugs and the growing demand for same.
It comes in the wake of tighter monitoring by authorities and the subsequent rise in the sale of drugs on city streets.
It is sobering that between June 2012 and July 2013, police seized 2 472 kg of mbanje, 8 347 kg of heroine and 12 175 kg of cocaine.
For addicts, mbanje has become a popular alternative. To deal with the statewide crisis, police reached agreement with churches on a package of action to stem this problem. These steps are bound to save lives.
We urge authorities to introduce tougher laws and new programmes to protect all drug users — especially the youngest in our communities, who represent a frightening share of drug victims.
We need an aggressive stance to fight the dangers of drug abuse.
But whatever actions are taken by police, they need to be complemented by tougher legislation to double the maximum penalty for drug barons, and to also involve other stakeholders.
The epidemic of drug use has devastated families. Drugs are a dark and painful substance that drags our teenagers far away from the happy and purposeful life they deserve. Many are dying of overdoses of everything from “Bronco” to hard drugs.
The fact is, drug addicts need all the help they can get.