Hard drugs finding way into Zim

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Hard drugs, including heroine, are fast finding their way into Zimbabwe with police seizing 5kg of the contraband between January and June this year.

No such drugs were found in the country last year, officer commanding CID Drugs, Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, said at the official launch of the International Day against Drug Abuse in Harare this week.

Heroin is a narcotic and an illegal drug that is usually injected or snorted by users though it can be smoked. It is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine.

It is a “downer” or depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain.

“Most of the drugs come through Zimbabwe in transit to other countries. Our locals are being used to transport these drugs and they are not paid in cash. They are usually paid in drugs and these are the ones that you find being sold on the local market,” said Mukazhi.

Health and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera said his ministry was concerned by the increase of drug abuse and illicit trafficking among teenagers and high school students.

“The problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking is growing rapidly particularly among our youth and high school students,” said Madzorera.

“The most disturbing aspect of the problem is the damage that drug abuse does to our young people,” he said.

Madzorera said some of these drugs included cannabis (dagga), ecstasy, heroine, mandrax, cocaine and certain types of cough mixtures.

He said cannabis was the most commonly abused drug in Zimbabwe.

“The problem results from it being grown locally and also smuggled in large quantities from neighbouring countries for local consumption and/or for further transmission to other countries where there are lucrative markets,” said Madzorera.