Dealing with drug abuse

Written by on April 5, 2019

WE want to echo the warning that Lusaka magistrate, Nsunge Chanda, gave a young convict who had pleaded guilty to trafficking in psychotropic substances on the dangers of using such drugs.
The magistrate rightly warned the young man to desist from drug abuse and trafficking because he risks going mad.
Drug abuse and trafficking have ravaged many countries and destroyed many a life. This is the danger that Zambia faces, unless something is done to redress the situation.
Is it by coincidence that majority of those arrested for drug trafficking are young people who should be in school or college and planning for a better future.
This also goes to show the extent to which Zambia’s young population is threatened by drug abuse and why it is imperative that those in authority give the kind of warning that Magistrate Chanda gave to the young offender.
Parents too have a bigger role to play in policing their children and ensuring that they do not stray into the world of drug trafficking.
The results of drug addiction as the magistrate pointed out, are grave and nothing to smile about.
Many mental hospitals are filled with recovering addicts, and those who are not too far gone, may indeed be rehabilitated while others would have condemned themselves to mental slavery all because of drugs.
Magistrate Chanda warned 19-year-old Yotham Mutambo after he pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in psychotropic substances.
“Drug trafficking is a serious offence and you are not supposed to commit it. You are admiring mad people and you will be lying that you have been bewitched,” said the magistrate.
“The reason legislators put it in the law as an offence, you have to know that it destroys the mind,” Ms. Chanda said.
She further warned Mutambo that he risked losing feelings for others if he continued engaging in the vice.
“You will be stealing and defiling girls and raping women. Next you will start killing and looking at someone like you are killing a chicken because of the influence of drugs,” warned Ms Chanda .
“People will kill your parents because of you. Can you change because prison is not good. I can punish you and you shouldn’t be found with drugs or steal,” she said.
Ms Chanda also ordered Mutambo to undergo counselling at the Prisons Care and Counselling Association (PRISCCA).
This grave warning is not just for Mutambo but for all young people templating using drugs as social therapy. The warning from one that wields authority and power to send people to prison, should be heeded. Prison is not a good place for anyone to be sent to and this is the more reason why such advice from the magistrate should be respected.
We would like to suggest that schools should take advantage of authorities like the magistrate to have audience with young people in schools and colleges.
This would help the young people refrain from indulging in illegal activities which would land them behind bars.
As a country, we need to nurture our young to avoid having delinquents as the country’s only hope of future leaders.

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