Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Young People in Zimbabwe: A Crisis of Morality or Public Health Problem
10 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 19, 2019
Drug and substance continues to be on the rise in Zimbabwe. It is more prevalent in urban areas. Despite growing evidence that drug and substance abuse are on the increase especially among young people, there is little being done in terms of interventions conducted by the government and its partners to reduce drug and substance abuse among the youth. This paper is based on research conducted in Zimbabwe with the aim of understanding drug and substance abuse among young people in Zimbabwe. The study focused on the driving forces or push factors for drug and substance abuse among young people, the sources of illicit drugs and substances, prevalence of drug and substance abuse among young people as well as the interventions being implemented to address the problem of drug and substance abuse. The key findings indicate that prevalence of drug abuse is at 57% among young people, the most commonly abused drugs and substances are marijuana and alcohol. Peer pressure, breakdown of the family support system, limited knowledge about the effects of drug abuse and stress were identified as the major factors that drive substance and drug abuse among the youth. The criminalisation of the drug and substance abuse continues to make it difficult for young people to seek help when they suffer from the effects of the drug abuse. The paper recommends an emphasis on shift from the legal approach to a public health approach in-order to address the challenges and complications associated with drug and substance abuse among young people in Zimbabwe.
Keywords: drug and substance abuse, young people, public health
JEL Classification: I12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation