Mmegi Online :: A lot of money is spent on drug and substance abuse
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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A lot of money is spent on drug and substance abuse

The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD), Richard Matlhare says government wastes a lot of time and resources agonising on alcohol and drug abuse matters while there are many crucial situations that the money could be invested on.
By Nnasaretha Kgamanyane Tue 18 Nov 2014, 16:21 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: A lot of money is spent on drug and substance abuse








Speaking at the first Annual Alcohol and Substance Abuse Symposium held at Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) in Gaborone yesterday, Matlhare pointed out that he was concerned at how the youth and adults of this country abuse these substances.

The theme was ‘My Actions, My Choice.’

He said the use of alcohol and drug contributes a lot to many social ills found in this country.

“We all are now very much aware that Batswana, and most importantly the youth, are at risk of being exposed to dependency creating substances that lead to unhealthy lifestyles.

“With a population of about two million people, Botswana loses quiet a significant number of people due to high consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other habit forming substances such as illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and other,” he said.

He pointed out that some of the dire consequences of using drugs and alcohol were social ills such as rape, road accidents, unwanted pregnancies, family conflicts, poor health, crime, deteriorating moral standards and HIV/AIDS.

He added that young people are involved in unhealthy practices that put their lives at risk such as sex parties, pool parties, mzwane where they misbehave.

He said that the fourth Botswana AIDS Impact Survey of 2013 results indicated low HIV prevalence amongst youth groups aged 15 to 19 years.

He added that higher

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rates were amongst those aged 25 to 29. The most common drugs used by the youth of this country include marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and many other man-made drugs used mostly by our schoolgoing children from primary to tertiary schools, he said.

Matlhare added that this situation is threatening the future of our country as the youth are the future leaders of Botswana.

However, he pointed out that these drugs were sold at our doorsteps, classrooms and that adults sold them. He described the irresponsible behaviour as unacceptable.

“Globally, there has been a 31 percent reduction in new HIV infections since 2001. However, with 1.5 million AIDS related deaths reported globally in 2012, it is important not to rest on our laurels as a nation as ARVs come with costs,” he added.

The PS advised that it is high time people have personal change. He said that in order to deal with the issue at hand, the nation has to deal with the root cause of drug and alcohol abuse.

The gathering also pointed out that they were very concerned about high drug and substance abuse use in Botswana.

Representatives from different institutions suggested that organisations must come together and go to rural areas and communities across the country to sensitise them about alcohol abuse and its effects.

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