By resolution of 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and co-operation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs present to society.
We are not spared as a society of the adverse effects of drugs. Our youths are fast turning into addicts under our own guard, as each day a young life is initiated into drugs.
This is moreso because as society we have watched and have done nothing about it. Most of our youths are now psychiatric hospital card holders and many have had their visions diminished due to the use and abuse of drugs and substances of abuse.
Resolution 42/ 112 of 7 December 1987 of the General Assembly urges society to be responsible and raise awareness on the effects of drugs, their harm to our communities.
This yeara��s commemorations are riding on the theme a�?Listen Firsta�? (listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe).
It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.
Drug trafficking, once viewed largely as a social and criminal problem, has transformed in recent years into a major threat to the health and security of people as now the youths, the school going have turned to be drug dealers and traffickers within their sphere of influence, that is school yards and communities they live in.
As we commemorate this day leta��s make an initiative to address this threat within our spheres of influence.
I urge the powers-that-be to stand up and unite as citizens in the fight against drugs and substances of abuse. Our health system has no proper drug rehabilitation concept at hand, the city fathers and mothers to spearhead the drug awareness and educational programmes for the youth and also the churches to take an active responsible role in helping those affected in their spheres of influence by gaining the requisite skills to help the affected.
To the youth I urge them to avoid ignorance and find out the long term effects of drugs and never attempt or experiment.
I plead with our government to set aside resources, establish a rehabilitation centre so that the affected can be helped.
The Rechabites Trust joins the world in the commemoration of this day and this will be held at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo. Join us and be informed.
A�Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information and help contact 00263772399734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org