Drug use in schools causes concern

school_childrenBULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe Council for the Welfare of Children has expressed concern over the rise in the number of school-children reported to be taking drugs.

Ruth Dhlolo, chairperson of the Bulawayo branch, says the society has received numerous reports from teachers and other members of the public, that children were abusing the easily available drugs. Most common was the smoking of marijuana and sniffing of glue.

Cough mixtures and barbiturates were also easily obtained and were being abused, she said, as were cigarette smoking and the taking of alcohol.

Dhlolo said the problem in some cases also involves primary children.

A number of teachers and parents have expressed concern over this issue, said Dhlolo.

She said the council has now contacted school authorities requesting to be notified of such incidents and seeking permission to talk to the children involved.

We believe that only early intervention and not punishment can stop this problem. We are planning to give lectures and show video films in schools on the effects of drug addiction, said Dhlolo.

She said many parents had lost control of their children.

ZCWC is a voluntary organisation formed in 1999 by a group of Bulawayo women.

Its major objectives are to liaise with the government and all organisations involved in the care of children.

The organisation also co-ordinates information relating to children and act as well as a consultative and advisory body on matters concerning children.

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