Unemployment crisis heightens drug abuse

Unemployment crisis heightens drug abuse

By Letwin Mubonesi

Mzilikazi Member of Parliament James Sithole has blamed the increasing drug abuse among the youth to the high unemployment rate .

He made these remarks during a drug awareness campaign at Mzilikazi High School in Bulawayo recently.

Recent statistics compiled by the Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network reveal that 60% of mental health admissions in the country are due to substance abuse, and 80% of them are people aged 16 to 35.

The campaign was meant to educate schoolchildren on the effects of drug abuse to their lives.

“I think we have delayed to address this drug abuse situation in Mzilikazi and Makokoba in general. Whenever I attend funerals, I have realised that even the elderly are dying because of drug-related issues.

“There is need to raise awareness of these issues to the schoolchildren because they are the most affected by drug abuse.

“We have received several reports of schoolchildren fighting after taking drugs. Government must address the economic situation as it is forcing people to resort to drugs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mzilikazi High School headmaster Bhekokuhle Dube said the removal of corporal punishment on schoolchildren had caused them to be rebellious and disrespectful to teachers and school authorities.

Dube urged government to deploy health personnel at schools to assist with drug-related problems.

He said the issue of corporal punishment should be reviewed so that discipline is instilled in schools citing instances where children are wayward because of the protection they enjoy from the law.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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