Young kids crave dagga

Re­search shows that SA has the high­est rate of drug use and abuse in Africa, with chil­dren younger than 13 al­ready ha­bit­u­ated

CityPress - - News -

con­sump­tion costs South Africa’s econ­omy at least 6.4% of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct – or R136 bil­lion a year. These costs are in­curred from treat­ment, so­cial de­vel­op­ment and polic­ing, as well as ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness cam­paigns.

Dr David Bayever, deputy chair­per­son at the Cen­tral Drug Au­thor­ity – which has an in­de­pen­dent man­date, but is housed within the depart­ment of so­cial de­vel­op­ment – shared sim­i­lar con­cerns.

“In­tro­duc­ing drugs, in­clud­ing al­co­hol, when un­der the age of 25, while the brain and body are still de­vel­op­ing, may have pro­found and life­long ef­fects that are of­ten only iden­ti­fied in later years,” he said.

Bayever also ex­pressed con­cern about the 3 000 South Africans im­pris­oned in var­i­ous coun­tries on drug traf­fick­ing charges, the ma­jor­ity of whom were women.

“Young girls are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble and eas­ily lured

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