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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tales of a drug survivor

Story by Theophilus Chuma

GOVERNMENT is taking a firm stance to combat drug and substance abuse amid revelations that addiction statistics in Zimbabwe are still high.

Grateful to be alive, 24-year-old Mbali Marara takes every bit of her recovery from drug abuse with a sense of gratitude.

For four years, she was hooked to heavy alcohol and overdose of Broncleer cough syrup that almost sucked life out of her.

Marara confesses to a dark chapter in her life where she had made a deal with the devil.

“I did things which when I look back, I regret. Life as a drug addict is very difficult because as a girl, you are faced with a lot of dangers including gang-rape and other forms of gender-based violence.”

The conversation wades into emotional territory as she opens up on intimate details that almost consumed her life.

“It’s a living hell doing drugs, youths should never attempt going this route. I was there and I know the consequences.”

Mbali is now a beacon of hope, being part of a campaign to spearhead awareness against drug abuse.

On behalf of the Chairperson of the National Drugs Committee at the Anti-Drugs Campaign dubbed “The Strength is In You” held in Harare this Thursday, government and international partners agreed to fight the scourge.

“Drug and substance abuse is now a huge social problem. Drugs are destroying lives and families. We can all attest that our young people are the most affected. A study conducted by Population Services in 2023 shows that 43% of the youths surveyed in Harare had engaged in drug abuse,” said the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Minister Honourable Mercy Dinha.

Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ambassador Per Lindgarde said, “Drug abuse is a challenge facing youths and it calls on all of us to work together to help curb the crisis affecting the youths.”

The platform for the campaign encourages key stakeholders to assist in pushing for enhanced awareness across the country.

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