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Zimbabwe Youth Group Calls for Action Against Drug Abuse

by Bustop TV News

A youth organization in Zimbabwe is sounding the alarm about the surging problem of drug abuse among young people, urging the government to enact stricter laws to curb the issue.

Shepherd Tafadzwa Raradza, founder of the Zimbabwe Save Youth Association (ZSYA), expressed deep concern over the rising number of individuals, particularly young people, falling prey to substance abuse.

A September 2023 UNICEF report revealed cannabis as the most abused substance (67%), followed by cough syrup (47%), crystal meth (36%), and illegal alcohol (31%).

Shockingly, the report found individuals as young as 14 using drugs, with the median age of first use being 18.

These findings confirm the vulnerability of the 10-18 age group to substance abuse, echoing similar concerns raised by other organizations.

The ZSYA urges the government to take immediate action by implementing tougher laws to address this critical issue and protect the future of Zimbabwe’s youth.

“The situation hinders the progress in the fight against drug abuse.

“It’s high time, stringent laws targeting drug traffickers should be implemented in order to address the root of the problem. There is also a  need for the country to intensify drug abuse campaigns, particularly in schools,” he said.

ZSYA is not only advocating for stricter laws but also highlighting the need for increased rehabilitation support for young people struggling with addiction like Takunda Mukanga (name changed), whose mother, Netsai Chiroto, shared her heartbreaking story.

“I worked very hard to provide for my son, only to see him end up on the streets, consumed by drugs.

“I am calling on the authorities to enact tougher laws against drug peddlers who are responsible for destroying the lives of young people,” Netsai said.

According to the UN 2023 World Drug Report, global drug use soared in 2021, with an estimated 13.2 million suffering from abuse, an 18% increase.

Overall drug use rose 23% in the past decade, affecting nearly 300 million people globally.

The number of individuals with drug use disorders jumped 45% in the last 10 years, reaching nearly 40 million.

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