Our drugs scourge

12 February 2019 | Columns

There is no denying that Namibia is one of many countries battling the socio-economic challenges posed by the abuse of substances.

The country continues to experience increased levels of drug abuse, especially amongst the youth. This a highly disturbing trend has led to devastation within families. We have also read how drugs, alcohol or just plain boredom have led Namibians down dark roads filled with sexual experimentation. The recently released stats contained in the 2018 World Drug Report paint a grim picture of the situation on the ground.

The latest drug stats for Namibia reveal that tik is among the drugs being consumed in the country. During the period 2012 to 2016 a total of 2 147.85 kilograms of dagga as well as 2.25 tons of dagga plants, were seized in Namibia, while

4 821 units of crack and 16 436 mandrax tablets were confiscated.

A total of 37 straws of crystal meth (tik) were seized during the period, while police confiscated more than 40 tons of ephedrine, the active ingredient in the deadly tik drug, during the period. Disturbingly, we have also read horror stories about drug cartels who are use poor, young Namibians, especially women, as mules to courier large quantities of crack, cocaine and other drugs to their intended markets.

Many of these young women are still languishing in prisons abroad. It is a sad state of affairs, and even our men and women in uniform are unable to cope with this epidemic, which has seen the easy availability of banned substances contributing significantly to the rise of drug addiction and crime.

Coming up with better strategies aimed at combatting substance and drug abuse is unlikely to address a host of problems associated with organised crime. We are sitting with a huge problem on our hands and if we don't come up with approaches that are effective in preventing drug abuse, the situation will spiral out of control and drag young people far away from the happy and purposeful life they deserve.

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