Medical expert reveals startling statistics on drug abuse in Zim

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A medical expert on Sunday made chilling revelations on drug abuse, saying 50% of admissions at mental institutions in Zimbabwe are attributed to substance-induced disorders.

This was said in Harare by Evans Masitara, Health Professionals Empowerment Trust director and former Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association vice-president in remarks to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Masitara went on to say youths are the most affected victims.

“Of these admissions, over 80% fall in the age group 16-40 and it is mostly the males who are affected . . . The age group mostly affected by this condition is supposed to form the core of the workforce in any vibrant economy,” he said.

The revelation comes amidst reports that drug abuse is on the rise in Zimbabwe with law enforcement agents seizing 5kg of heroin this year compared to nil last year, according to Officer Commanding CID Drugs, Chief Superintendent Luckson Mukazhi, early this week.

Heroin is a narcotic, 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.

“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.

However, cannabis (mbanje) remains the most popular drug mainly because it is usually grown locally or smuggled in from neighbouring countries like Malawi and Mozambique.