The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
CABINET has proposed a review of the National Policy on Drug and Substance Abuse and an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act as government continues its fight against the escalating use of illicit substances in the country.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently appointed an inter-ministerial task force to find solution to drug abuse, an issue that is affecting many youths in the country.
A review of the two laws are just some of a cocktail of short to medium and long term measures to tackle the scourge that were announced by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa on Tuesday following a cabinet meeting.
Some of the short-term measures that government is set to implement include the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe National Drug Master Plan and Treatment and Rehabilitation Guidelines of Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder of Zimbabwe and the identification and upgrading existing mental health institutions that can admit affected children, youths and adults including a dedicated child psychiatric hospital in each province until they have recovered
Besides a review of the country’s laws, other medium term measures include the establishment of a National Call Centre for drug and substance abuse which will provide online psychosocial support and related information.
“In the long term, the Integrated Skills Outreach Programme (ISOP) which is spearheaded by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development will be strengthened, while the public is urged to take advantage of the Non-Formal Education programme under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. In addition, a study to establish the extent of drug use and abuse among youths as well as to identify the causes of the problem in order to come up with precise interventions address will also research, document and disseminate information on drugs and related issues in Zimbabwe,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.