druuuuug.jpgZimbabwe yesterday joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day Against Drug Abuse, amid concerns that drug abuse is on the increase in the country mainly because of lack of a national policy framework to make prevention everyone’s responsibility.

 

 

The day is meant to raise awareness on the dangers posed by drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and heroine, among others.

 

Statistics compiled for the period January 2009 to December 2009 by the Criminal Investigations Department’s Drugs Squad indicate that lighter drugs are the most abused, with 109 000kgs of dagga or cannabis and 49 pieces of ecstacy having been seized.

 

However, it is the increase in the abuse of heavy drugs that is alarming, with figures indicating that 395 grammes of cocaine and 5,1kgs of heroine were seized in the country.

 

Overally, more than 200 people were arrested for drug offences during the period under review.

 

Officially launching the commemorations of the day, Health and Child Welfare minister, Dr Henry Madzorera said the abuse and trafficking of drugs has an adverse effect on personal health and the society at large.

 

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After the media briefing the campaign teams, comprising the United Nations, ZRP and Ministry of Health officials went on educational awareness campaigns in populated public areas of Harare’s Central Business District.

 

The educational campaign is expected to be taken to such public areas as First Street Mall, Roadport, Market Square, Mbare as well as 24 secondary schools from seven districts of Harare until the 2nd of July.

 

This year, the International Day Against Drug Abuse is being commemorated under the theme “Think Health, Not Drugs.”