Zimbabwe has launched a five-year National Drug Master Plan which runs from 2020-2025 which seeks to address a range of drug-related issues.
Dr Jasper Chimedza, the Health Secretary, Zimbabwe needed to address supply, demand reduction as well as to control illicit substances based on International Drug Control Conventions.
Substances that are commonly abused in Zimbabwe include alcohol (both licensed and unlicensed brews) tobacco, cannabis and non-medical use of controlled medicines such as codeine-containing cough medicines and benzodiazepines.
Currently approximately 60% of patients admitted in mental health institutions suffer due to drug related problems. Due to the socio-economic situation, Zimbabwe is facing increasing cases of depression, trauma and stress which has led to the increase in drug use. Hence as a nation there is need to have a concerted effort to address this menace.
Alcohol, Marijuana, Crystal Meth (Mutoriro) and Broncleer among others are the main drugs being abused especially by the youth. Excessive use of Alcohol and drugs damage the health of users and is linked to rises in addiction and non-communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart diseases, psychological disorders and an increase in road traffic accidents.
Dr Chimedza said stakeholders believed and hoped that the National Drug Master plan will help in strengthening prevention and management responses to drug-related issues.
The initiative is launched when reports of drug abuse mainly by the youths have been on the rise lately. It is reported that they abuse Crystal Meth (Mutoriro/Gukka Mkafela), Broncleer and water from boiled diapers and sanitary pads.
Recently, a video of youths abusing Mutoriro circulated prompting society to call for the declaration of war on drug abuse.