Government adopts drug abuse master plan

By Fungai Jachi

Government says it has put in place measures to curb the scourge of drug and substance abuse among youths in the country, with focus on cutting the supply chain and construction of rehabilitation centers.

Drug and substance abuse among youths have reached alarming levels, with the number of young people hooked on drugs increasing by the day.

However, government has moved in to ease the situation with the adoption of a National Drug Master Plan as well as setting up a drug fund and a solid plan to establish rehabilitation centres across the country.

“Currently, as government we are having an assessment of all our public institutions to see how we can improve them to become suitable for use. We are planning to decentralise these rehab centres to district level because the problem is everywhere. We want to set up these centres so that the youths can be given the help they deserve,” said Professor Paul Mavhima, the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare.

Professor Paul Mavhima, the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare

Government, he said, also has other programmes in place to curb the scourge of drug and substance abuse.

“Law enforcement agents are working hard to arrest drug peddlers as per the directive from the President himself because the issue of drugs worries him. Awareness programmes are also being rolled out through the Ministry of Information and through such programs I am sure we will be able to eradicate this problem.”

The review of the National Policy on Drug and Substance abuse and amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act which is in line with the illicit drugs being used in the country is underway and expected to increase penalties on drug and substance abuse.