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Drug abuse leads to mental illness

More than half of the patients admitted at Zimbabwe’s mental health centres are cases associated with drug abuse, a research by the Health Professionals Empowerment Trust in Zimbabwe has found.


According to the research, youths are the most vulnerable group in the country. Of these admissions, over 80% fall in the 16-40 age groups and it is mostly the males who are affected.

A local civic organisation, the Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network (ZCLDN) has called on government to educate youths on the dangers of drug misuse.

ZCLDN projects executive director, Wilson Box said the organisation was concerned about the increase in drug abuse among youths in the country.

“As an organisation, we call upon the relevant authorities to take measures to educate youths on the dangers of drug misuse,” said Box.
Zimbabwe is now used as a transit conduit for drugs to other countries such as South Africa.

“Zimbabweans are used to transporting these drugs and some of these drugs are the ones that are being sold on the local market,” Box said.
Drugs commonly used in Zimbabwe include heroin, cannabis, histalix and other cough mixtures, especially broncleer, which is used as a relaxation drug.

However, cannabis [mbanje] remains the most popular drug in Zimbabwe, mainly because it is either grown locally or smuggled in from neighbouring countries like Malawi and Mozambique.

ZCLDN is a national initiative working in Zimbabwe with a mission to advocate for effective strategies for addressing problems associated with drug misuse in the country.

The organisation contributes to the establishment of workable policies that are grounded in science, public health and human rights in order to help minimise the harms associated with dangerous drug use and misuse in Zimbabwe.


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