Anti-drug committee launches medical assistance Program for drug abuse survivors

By Ndumiso Tshuma

In the fight against drug abuse, the National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse has initiated a program to provide medical assistance to drug abuse survivors who lack the means to cover their medical expenses.

These services will be available at government hospitals nationwide, aiming to support individuals struggling with substance abuse.

Established by the government in April of last year, the Committee is dedicated to leading efforts against substance abuse in the country.

As part of their ongoing efforts, the Committee has announced plans to expedite the procurement of psychotropic medications and food provisions for rehabilitation centres.

“The nation’s aspiration to achieve Vision 2030 hinges on effectively leveraging the youth demographic dividend. A drug-free society is imperative for realizing the goals of the second republic and attaining our upper middle-income aspirations,” stated the Committee.

The Committee outlined its community role in combating drug abuse, emphasising preventive measures such as counselling to deter survivors from relapsing after completing rehabilitation programs.

“Through follow-up initiatives and the establishment of support groups, we aim to foster social networking and peer-to-peer support to combat drug abuse,” added the Committee.

Additionally, the Committee revealed the implementation of strategies involving small groups and volunteers to identify individuals affected by substance abuse as part of their anti-drug campaign.

“To mitigate the spread of drug abuse, we will provide psychological first aid and refer individuals to specialist rehabilitation services,” affirmed the Committee.

Patrick Sibanda, whose son struggled with drug abuse, attested to the benefits of attending counselling sessions, which provided him with coping techniques for stress, anxiety, and cravings.

“As a parent, witnessing my child battle addiction is distressing. However, the counselling sessions offer hope and guidance in navigating this challenging journey,” expressed Sibanda.

Patience Moyo, a professional nurse, highlighted the urgent need for more resources and support for treatment and rehabilitation centres, stressing that drug abuse has evolved into a pressing public health concern.

Echoing similar sentiments, Lisa Sikhosana, a high school teacher in Bulawayo, said education and awareness programs enlighten youths about the dangers of drug abuse and provide positive alternatives.

“As educators and caregivers, it’s our responsibility to create a safe and healthy environment for our children. By breaking the silence surrounding drug abuse and fostering open dialogue, we can empower youths to seek help without fear,” asserted Sikhosana.

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