BULAWAYO, Friday, August 19, 1966 — Rhodesian teenagers, growing tired of the mild kick of daggasmoking, are now turning to the powerful and dangerous “pep pill” habit in a search for more “lift” and greater thrills.
Drug addiction, so rife in Britain and America, has now a firm grip on some sections of our youths, especially in Bulawayo and Salisbury. Growing concern about this sudden switch to these powerful stimulants by Bulawayo and Salisbury youth has been expressed by a social welfare official and a prominent psychiatrist.
Even more startling is the experience of a 19-year-old drug addict, who has volunteered this information to help other drug takers realise the folly of their actions. He left Bulawayo in March to start a new job in Salisbury.
When he left he was the same as any normal Rhodesian youth. Now he is back in Bulawayo at the Nervous Disorders Hospital, undergoing treatment for his addiction. He is one of the comparatively lucky ones. He had the sense to realise what he was becoming, and he is at the hospital of his own accord.
With luck and perseverance he will soon be on his way to recovery. I asked this youth to tell me something about the “pot scene” (drug taking) in this country.
“It’s getting really bad,” he said. “Guys who have been smoking junk (dagga) for years are now taking to the hard stuff ”.
Dagga by it self is considered non-addictive. The hard stuff ” is now the “in” thing-pills from amphetamine family of stimulants. How did he come to start taking narcotics? “Its the usual story, I did it for kicks. A lot of people I met were on the habit, so I decided to try some myself.