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Over 8 000 individuals arrested in drug and substance abuse-related cases

Story by John Nhandara

OVER 600 drug traffickers and 8 000 suspects involved in illegal substance activities have been arrested since January this year.

This comes at a time when stakeholders are calling for the strengthening of efforts to fight drug and substance abuse which is currently wreaking havoc.

The fight against drug and substance abuse is far from over as highlighted by key stakeholders who met this Monday to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The scourge which has been declared a pandemic locally is ravaging society, destroying family relations and threatening generations.

The destructive nature of illegal substances was aptly captured by Mr Lavert Zungunde who narrated how drug abuse led to the demise of his son.

“My son was heavily involved in drugs after finishing his diploma in agriculture. They affected him a lot health-wise and he eventually died. As parents, I think we need to play our part in encouraging our children to desist from drug abuse and get those already affected all the necessary help,” he said.

Statistics have shown that most patients admitted in the country’s psychiatric units are a result of drug-induced psychosis, hence the need to strengthen awareness.

“We have also come up with a programme on mental health being supported by the WHO because we have realised that the majority of patients are exhibiting psychosis induced by drugs,” said Pamumvuri Environmental Health-Programmes coordinator, Mr Brighton Muresherwa.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police(ZRP) says efforts are being made to bring to book those involved in drug peddling.

“Since we launched our operation against drugs in January, so far a total of 53 bases have been accounted for throughout the country. We have over 600 suppliers arrested. We have 8 000 suspects arrested in drug-related activities such as drug trafficking. The CID drugs and narcotics have also accounted for over 2 244 suspects who have been involved in illicit drug activities,” said ZRP Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is marked on the 26th of June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving drug-free societies.

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