A call has been made for the urgent intervention of government to curb drug trafficking on the local scene as there are now growing fears that Zimbabwe could turn from being a transit point for dangerous drugs to becoming a fully-fledged consumer if corrective measures are not taken immediately.
A snap survey conducted by ZBC News in various high density suburbs and Harareâ€™s Central Business District has revealed that the taking of a combination of alcohol and other substances such as Bronclear, Histalix D and Maragado tablets is on the increase.
The problem is rife among the youths, mostly the unemployed, who are taking concoctions of drugs to speed up intoxication.
Bronclear is not sold over the counter in pharmacies and one would require a doctorâ€™s prescription to buy the drug.
However, people who are abusing the cough mixtures are getting them from people who are smuggling them into the country from neighbouring countries such as South Africa.
A local anti-drug abuse lobby group, Anti-Drug Abuse Association of Zimbabwe Programmes Manager, Mr Andrew Chapfika confirmed that some people have resorted to abusing prescription drugs because they are cheaper than beer.
â€œThese drugs are cheaper than beer and instead of spending a lot of money taking beer for one to get drunk, drugs addicts are now opting for a cheaper alternative,â€ said Dr Chapfika.
In one of the high density suburbs, empty boxes of a cough mixture were piled on a rubbish dump, a clear sign that someone is making money through selling the drug illegally.
Of concern is also the trend where drug abusers are shifting from the soft to hard drugs.
Medical drugs come with potentially harmful side effects that can have serious and long-term effects on oneâ€™s health.
High doses of many of the drugs can cause immediate life-threatening health problems such as heart attack and respiratory failure.