Call for early drug testing

Latwell Nyangu

A local drug testing institution, FaStep Diagnostics, is encouraging parents to take their children for drug testing and diagnosis before it is too late.

FaStep director, Cuthbert Chiromo, said that early detection through drug testing can help avoid damage and can target those who need help.

FaStep conducts on-site testing services, which allow for early detection of drug abuse, enabling timely intervention and treatment. Identifying drug abuse in its early stages can prevent the problem from escalating and potentially causing severe physical, mental and social harm.

Drug testing programmes can also act as a deterrent to drug abuse and promote workplace safety.

“Parents are afraid to talk about drug testing with their children, and they find out about their children’s habits when it’s too late.

“We have equipment which tests drugs through hair since drugs can stay in the hair for up to 90 days. We test for drugs through hair, saliva, urine and blood,” said Chiromo.

He said awareness campaigns are not enough as some people take drugs because they are unable to open up on the challenges they will be facing in life.

“The only effective way is to have a different approach than campaigns so that we deal with these problems.

“Testing is the way to go, since, for example, vana vakabatwa kuti akuita zvemadrugs, oenda for counselling or rehab, that can help.

“To avoid costs, people need to test early since rehabilitation is expensive. There is stigma around the drug issue,” he said.

Drug testing programmes, he said, can act as a deterrent to drug abuse.

“The knowledge that drug tests are conducted regularly can discourage individuals from engaging in drug abuse due to fear of detection and potential consequences such as loss of employment, legal issues, or damage to personal relationships.

“Drug testing in occupational settings promotes workplace safety. Substance abuse can impair judgment, coordination, and cognitive function, leading to accidents, injuries, and decreased productivity. By implementing drug testing programmes, employers can help ensure a safer work environment for all employees.”

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