Drug abuse in youth can de­stroy fu­ture of coun­try

Sowetan - - Opinion -

South Africa is con­fronted by the se­ri­ous prob­lem of drug abuse, with more than 60% of users be­ing the youth. One just won­ders what this coun­try will be like in 20 years. Many youth get trapped in drugs be­cause of peer pres­sure, stress, anx­i­ety and low self-es­teem. Apart from crime, vi­o­lence and men­tal ill­nesses, drug use also ac­counts for di­rect deaths of its users. The SA Med­i­cal Re­search Coun­cil says 11% of the pop­u­la­tion suf­fer from one form of ad­dic­tion dis­or­der or an­other. That fig­ure is based on the rate of peo­ple who get hos­pi­talised or in­sti­tu­tion­alised due to drug use. Although I didn’t like the le­gal­i­sa­tion of dagga for per­sonal use by adults, as per the Con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing, I sup­port the Rasta­far­i­ans’ use of dagga for their re­li­gious prac­tices. As for oth­ers who need dagga use for med­i­cal pur­poses, the gov­ern­ment must put down laws on how they can ob­tain the herb from phar­ma­cies and clin­ics. The fact is that dagga can harm the fu­ture of a coun­try, es­pe­cially when it causes the youth to drop out of school. The 2017 re­port by the cen­tral drug au­thor­ity shows that SA is rated in the top 10 in drug abuse.

We, how­ever, still have a chance to get it right in the fight against drugs. Po­lice need the as­sis­tance of fam­i­lies and lead­ers of com­mu­nity and po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions to win the bat­tle against drug abuse among the youth.

Te­boho Vic­tor Hlong­wane

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