IN recent years, Zimbabwe has been grappling with a growing drug abuse problem, particularly with the rise of synthetic drugs.
Synthetic drugs, also known as designer drugs or legal highs, are chemically engineered substances that mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana.
These drugs are often produced in clandestine laboratories and have made their way onto the streets of Zimbabwe, posing a significant threat to public health and safety.
One of the most prevalent synthetic drugs in Zimbabwe is known as “guka, domo and mutoriro,” which are locally produced substances that are highly addictive and dangerous.
These drugs are usually sold as a white powder or in pill form, and the effects can range from increased energy and euphoria to hallucinations and paranoia.
Their accessibility and affordability have contributed to its popularity among young people, who often fall victim to its addictive nature.
“Wese anoriputa anogara achiteerwa as in kungocheuka cheuka achiita seakurasika njere and doing things that are not normal,” said a parent.
One Mugwisi from Majubheki in Mbare said that youths abuse these drugs to forget and overcome their worries.
“So the ghetto youths who take drugs say they do so to forget their worries and troubles.
“To them it’s helpful yet killing them at the same time. There is more trouble to individuals and to the community.
“They will be doing whatever they like and stealing from their neigbhours as well as being involved in robberies.
“These drugs are more addictive and they would want to continue taking more.
“Some say they get commission for inviting other users yet they will be destroying someone’s life,” he said.
Another parent said:
“Our children are losing it all, you find most of them are no longer respectful of their parents.
“Their characters are rogue and we wonder now kuti vana vakutorasa hunhu nekuda kwemadrugs iwaya.
“There should be a way to quickly deal with this problem.”
The consequences of crystal meth, guka and dombo abuse have been devastating for individuals and communities.
“Users experience severe physical and mental health problems, including heart palpitations, respiratory issues, anxiety and depression.
“The drug also fuels criminal activities as addicts’ resort to theft, prostitution and other illegal means to sustain their habits.
“Moreover, the strain on the healthcare system, to address the rising number of drug-related emergencies and overdoses, is overwhelming,” said another parent.
A drug user Musombe said:
“Dombo gives me strength when I am doing my daily work.
“Dombo neGuka zvibaba panhau dzekusimbisa maworks, inini manje ndikatora izvi ndoswera ndichishanda handimboneti” he said.
“At first I was ashamed to be a tout because I am educated but this gives me power and strength.
“When I take this drug ndotowana ushingi, ndichitanga kupinda muchihwindi ndainyara nekuti mashamwari aindiseka nekuti nditore munhu akadzidza muchindiona kudai.”