Drug-related deaths a cause for concern

By Tendai Munengwa

DRUG and substance abuse continues to take a huge toll on the young generation, amid shocking revelations that a number of youths have succumbed to drug abuse-related complications.

Donald Dicken (not his real name) is reported to have died in his sleep two weeks ago after allegedly taking a concoction of dangerous substances at a local shopping centre in Eastlea suburb of Harare. 

Hardly a week after Donald’s burial, another young man known as Johwa reportedly died after taking dangerous substances at the same drinking spot.

Just a few kilometres away is another shopping centre known as Clyde, where four cases have been recorded in a short space of time, with substance abuse being the suspected cause of death.

Investigations by ZBC News at various joints which have allegedly been turned into dangerous substance bases revealed shocking details of how the vice is claiming lives on a daily basis.

“We have lost our two friends in a short space of time and their cause of death, according to medical reports, was taking access dangerous substances which have flooded the beer places,” said a youth at a local drinking spot.

“We are losing our youths here, but the problem is not the youths, but police should arrest those selling the drugs. There are known bases here but nothing is being done.”

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Inghutsheni Psychiatric Centre, Dr Nemache Mawere, 80 percent of admissions at the rehabilitation centre are drug and substance abuse cases.

“It is unfortunate that while we are not sure of the death cases at thd hospital, 80 percent those admitted here at the rehabilitation centre are cases of youths abusing dangerous substances,” he said.

While ZBC News could not get the statistics on the actual number of deaths linked to drug and substance abuse, these testimonies at well known hotspots point towards a worrying trend.