• Blandina Malinzi

Consequences Of Drug Abuse Use Among Adolescents In Tanzania

There is a growing concern about the drug use among adolescents in Tanzania. Drug and substance abuse continues to destroy youth’s lives and subsequently education.

There have been some drastic measures that have been taken to stop the use of drugs among adolescents in Tanzania but continuation on raising awareness on drug use is ongoing. However, the sad reality is adolescents are still using and doing drugs and are not stopping any time soon. Every year one parent loses their child due to drug overdose.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

According to a report by the Drug Control Commission, which deals with drug abuse issues in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2011), there’s being a growing number of people who are addicted which has increased from 150,000 to 500,000.

Moreover, there are various reasons why adolescents resort to drug abuse for pain relief, depression, religion, loneliness or anxiety and peer acceptance. This is a result of peer pressure, pressure from life, career and parents. Many adolescents in Tanzania are groomed by their parents from an earlier age and most parents have certain expectations of their children to follow in terms of career, family or even sexual identity. Living the expectations of their parents and not being able to be themselves is what in most cases leads to drugs for escapism.

Photo courtesy of google images.

The consequences of drug abuse are severe and should not be underestimated some of which leads to unsafe sex, high-risk diseases such as HIV/AIDS and STD’s and reckless driving. A lot of adolescents get into accidents due to driving while high. In some instance murders of relatives or strangers have occurred as a result of being high on drugs.

Photo courtesy of google images.

The most commonly used drugs in Tanzania are khat, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Most of the adolescent get into drugs starting with alcohol and then cigarettes.

Drug use can have a profound effect on users including health problems from stroke, cancer, chest pains and cardiovascular diseases, violence and premature deaths which affects youth’s life expectancy too.

Photo courtesy of Tai Studio

At Tai Tanzania one of our mission and value is to raise awareness and educate adolescents in Tanzania. It’s important to continue to fight the good fight to help them realize their full potential and that can be achieved in the absence of drug abuse.

In this light, government and hospitals should create more health services facilities that carters for drug abuse victims in helping them get sober to become responsible members of the society. Parents need to also monitor their children closely by being aware of their children’s behaviors and the type of friends they hangout with.

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