Rehabilitation has been cited as a step in the right direction towards ensuring drug addicts find their way into the mainstream society.

This came out during the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking commemorations that were held in Harare this Wednesday.

The world over, nations are grappling with issues of drug abuse, with the use of harmful substances rampant among youths.

It is common to see a child as young as 12 years taking drugs in the streets of Harare.

“I take drugs because that is the only form of freedom I get,” said one of the youths.

Another one said different types of drugs are readily available on the streets of Harare for as little as $1.50.

These are some of the sad realities that prompted a local elderly man, Mr Tony Makwavarara to come up with a rehabilitation initiative that target youths amongst other substance abusers.

“In my old age, I have seen that youths nowadays are abusing drugs. So how can a nation develop if young people get wasted by drugs? The youths are the future, so we must make sure they are given adequate information and adequate help to recover from use of drugs,” said Mr Makwavarara.

Drug abuse rehabilitation specialist, Mr Mthandazo Ndlovu said more still needs to be done in order to build a drug free nation.

Zimbabwe is sitting on a drug time bomb as there are many reported cases of substance abuse especially among youths.

60% of mental related illnesses are reported to have been caused or connected to drug abuse.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is marked annually on the 26th of June and this year, it is running under the theme: ‘Health for Justice- Justice for Health.’