Schools need peer counseling, after-school activities to fight drugs

By Promise Dube

Schools should initiate prevention programs such as peer counselling and after-school activities to keep the children busy and focused on self-development, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Judith Ncube said.

The minister was addressing a Children Christian Network (CCN) organised a drug awareness campaign in Bulawayo on Tuesday.

“Drugs have taken a great toll on our community and nation at large. Young people and children are vulnerable to the effects of drugs, so it is important to address this menace,” said Ncube.

“We are therefore grateful to Children Christian Network Trust for taking such an initiative towards fighting drugs and substance abuse, bullying and crime among our children,” she added.

Ncube drug use has negative consequences, including health problems.

“Drug and substance abuse leads to a lot of health issues such as kidney problems, liver and lung diseases and young people, trust me you do not want to live such a complicated life,” Ncube said.

“Going to the hospital for check-ups and treatment is not as easy, also think of the amount of money that will be used to treat something you could have avoided, prevention is better than cure.”

The minister went on to say that everything is planned and gave the example of how drug dealers give out free doses to customers before charging for them.

“Young people everything is planned, from the food you eat, the people you meet and the drugs you later get addicted to. Carroting method is what drug experts call it, drug sellers first give you a dose for free and upon addiction they start selling them to you,” Ncube said.

“Because you are hooked and cannot function without them, you resort to theft, either at home or out in the community. It is even serious with girls who will sell their bodies to et money to buy drugs and that creates a whole new set of problems.”

According to Ncube, drugs have the power to alter a person’s behaviour and make them hostile.

“Drugs and alcohol damage the body and mind and while you are intoxicated, your behaviour changes, it can lead you to be violent and commit crime. There are a lot of instances where people have committed crimes under the influence of drugs and substance abuse,” she said.

She continued by saying that doing drugs might land someone in prison and after the person is freed it might take some time to pick themselves up.

In her remarks, she also advocated for the outlawing of bullying in all schools.

“Bullying is a bad culture which has to be abolished in every school. Bullying can cause serious emotional and psychological harm to victims so be thoughtful before you mistreat your peers,” added Ncube.

Ncube emphasised that drug and substance misuse should be combated by the community as a whole, adding that even youngsters who do not use drugs are not safe.

“As a community, we have to have an all hands on deck approach to the drug and substance abuse pandemic, just because your child does not do drugs or crime or bullying, it does not necessarily mean they are fully protected from the effects of these evils,” she said.

“We hope that after this march, Bulawayo Metropolitan Province will experience a decline in cases of drug and substance abuse, bullying and crime.”

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