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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Drugs robbing youths of bright future

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

DRUG and substance abuse has become a growing challenge nationally, with those recovering from addiction opening up on how the scourge has robbed them of their bright future.

24-year-old Daren Berejena from Mutare now looks back objectively on his past experience after recovering from what he now views as the darkest part of life.

Berejena narrates how drug abuse almost destroyed his life after stopping going to school while doing form three before being disowned by his family.

“I was sick because of drug abuse. This condition developed while I was still at school after being influenced into taking drugs by friends and schoolmates. I later on moved to take chrestomathy and it made me useless. That resulted in many problems in my life including being disowned by my parents who chased me away from home. I became a thief as I was of no fixed aboard. I was then re-admitted home after I received professional recovery assistance. I want to tell fellow youths that drugs are harmful and can result in one being arrested,” he said.

Psychotherapist and mental health consultant, Dr Mazvita Machinga who took Berejena through the recovery process unpacks how drug abuse affects the physical and mental conditions of a human being.

“Drug and substance abuse damages the brain cells. Drugs are chemicals that affect various parts of the brain resulting in poor decision-making with emotions being disturbed as well as physical body organs such as the liver and kidneys. Drugs have serious health implications as they damage internal body parts. One develops psychosis which is a mental health condition as a result of drug abuse.”

Recovering from drug and substance abuse is not a walk in the park.

“One starts from use to abuse resulting in wayward behaviour. The situation deteriorates into dependence which makes it difficult to shun abuse due to withdrawal symptoms. This ends up in substance use disorder that requires professional help to move out of the situation. We have recovery programmes to help those abusing drugs with others requiring the services of psychiatric doctors and medication to help the body to function properly. Others require intense behaviour modification recovery with the recovery period lasting for three months,” added Dr Machinga.

To fight the scourge that is affecting mostly the youths, the government has set up a task force to work with communities in fighting drug and substance abuse while more rehabilitation centres are being established.

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