By Margret Chogugudza
Drug-abuse has been and still remain an everyday element among youth in Chitungwiza and Zimbabwe society at large. It is a cycle of evil that continues to diffuse poison in every corner of society. Youth are always seen at the corners of the streets in Chitungwiza abusing drugs such as marijuana (mbanje), musombodia, Bronclear syrup (bronco), mangemba (mental health tablets) among others.
From the interviews conducted by Chitownews recently in Chitungwiza the youth highlighted factors such as unemployment, lack of activity, and peer pressure as the main cause to drug-abuse.
Clive a youth from Zengeza said “We do not have anything to do, they are no jobs for us and the situation is so frustrating. Taking drugs is the only thing left for us, at least we can forget our sorrows for a moment”.
A young woman called Lizzy who lives in St Marys said “I was compelled to take drugs because all my friends were taking drugs. At first I thought I was doing it for fun but now it has become a part of my life that I can no longer live without them. If I want to do work that requires a lot of energy I take marijuana (mbanje) first”.
Ashton Bumhira Programme manager for Youth Forum Zimbabwe said “Youth are vulnerable victims of drug-abuse due to the fact they lack activities due to the level of unemployment which is so high in Zimbabwe. This has left many youth with nothing to do than to roam around the streets frustrated and taking drugs.”
In the survey conducted by Chitownews recently many young people acknowledged the destructive consequences that grow out of drug-abuse. Not only the health issues were cited by the young people to be the effects of drug-abuse, but also outcomes as poor relationships, crimes, violence, lack of judgement and teenage pregnancy were clearly stated.
Tafadzwa from Seke said “I do take these drugs but I know they have serious health consequences because some of my friends now have severe health problems due to drug abuse. One of my friends also lost his life due to drug abuse”.
“Despite knowing the consequences of abusing drugs, taking drugs is now a part of my life that I cannot do without” added Tafadzwa.
“Abusing drugs has serious negative consequences on us as women. At times one can get knocked out to the extent that they lack clear judgment and men can take advantage of that and engage in unprotected sex with such a woman without knowing. This result in unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Disease”, said Sarudzai from St Marys.
“Drugs also causes some people to be very violent and engage in fights with their peers”, continued Sarudzai.