Effects of drugs, alcohol and other substances of abuse

Mthandazo Ndlovu

THE year 2018 is coming to an end and festivity is in the air, some went through a clear and sound-minded year while some went through a clouded and confused one due to drugs, alcohol and other substances of abuse.

To those considering to indulge in drugs, alcohol and other substances of abuse, or even experiment, here are some things you need to consider as the general effects of drugs, alcohol and substances of abuse.

Memory loss, strokes. Liver cirrhosis, psychosis, depression and addiction, throat, mouth, lung and stomach cancer, malnutrition, organ failure, early sexual contact, rape and unwanted pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases, HIV and Aids, and death, and or family disharmony.

The world does not need you as an additional statistic as we are already affected with the current statistics at hand, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports that plus 246 million people use illicit drugs and over 30 million are problem drug users.

Almost 37 000 people in Africa die annually from diseases associated with the consumption of drugs, alcohol and other substances of abuse.

Cannabis (mbanje) is the most commonly abused drug in the continent of Africa with a prevalence rate of 7,5 percent.

The harmful use of alcohol results in at least three million deaths globally and coming back home in Zimbabwe alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in its highest alcoholic content, the emergence of industrial alcohol. Research also shows that four out of 10 people who start drinking at a young age will become alcoholics.

Alcohol contributes to 50 percent of suicide cases and also 50 percent of violent crimes in our society and 15 percent of deaths of young people aged between 15 and 29 years.

About 4 700 people under the age of 21 die annually in Zimbabwe from injuries involving under-age drinking.

More teens die from prescription drug abuse than cocaine and heroin combined as they ignorantly think they are safe.

Four out of six school-going children have abused drugs at least once without the knowledge of the parents.

Over 30 percent of our cancer cases can be avoided by avoiding tobacco and alcohol.

Sixty percent of all admissions to psychiatry wards in Zimbabwe is as a result of drug-induced disorders.

The judicial system has during the year dealt with more than five cases of hard drugs with cocaine worth more than US$450 000 recovered in Bulawayo during Easter.

Every 10 seconds someone in the world dies because of alcohol and every 37 seconds someone uses drugs for the first time.

Join the Rechabites in building drug-free healthy and productive communities.

Having knowledge of the effects of alcohol, drugs and other substances of abuse will prevent you from being a statistic. A drug-free life begins with you.

-Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information and help contact 00263772399734or email [email protected]