Call to involve youths in addressing drug abuse and suicides

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Masvingo (New Ziana) -There is need to involve youths in formulating strategies and plans to tackle the scourge of drug abuse and suicides in the country, a senior official has said.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke made the call when he addressed the belated International Day Against Drug Abuse and World Suicide Prevention Day commemorations workshop held at the Great Zimbabwe University.

Matuke said as stakeholders crafted strategies for preventing and combating drug abuse and suicides, they should recognise the importance of involving the youth in order to find lasting solutions.

He said the government was moving to address the menace of drug and substance abuse in the country through the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce responsible for coordinating and implementing strategies to tackle drug and substance abuse among the youth.

“Let me hasten to say that whilst the drug and substance abuse menace is more prevalent amongst the youth, our activities should target everyone in order to attain a healthy and drug free Zimbabwean community. Additionally, the need to reach out to priority populations cannot be over emphasised.

“These include people with disabilities, those living with HIV and AIDS, displaced persons, the mining community, youths in tertiary institutions, just to mention a few,” he said.

Tertiary institutions and communities should have anti-drug abuse and suicide prevention champions responsible for providing information and support to their peers, said Matuke.

“I am challenging the youths at GZU today to be the pioneers of this initiative,” he said

Matuke said suicide was one of the leading causes of deaths with the youths being the most affected group while there was a co-relation between suicide and mental health disorders, especially depression and alcohol use disorders.

Speaking at the same occasion, Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Ezra Chadzamira said care should be taken to include youth in rural areas as they were equally affected by consumption of dangerous substances.

New Ziana

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