President Hakainde Hichilema has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), families and other stakeholders to take a leading role in combating drug abuse in the country.
President Hichilema said that drug abuse should be a concern for all, adding that the law enforcement agencies should address the issue in a civilised manner.
During a press briefing at State House, President Hichilema said families play a crucial role in instilling values and working against drug addiction among young people in communities.
“Every drug user has a family they come from and a church they associate with, let us apply those platforms to help stabilise our society,” he said.
The head of state said government is allocating additional resources and implementing measures to improve and enhance rehabilitation and treatment centers for drug addicts.
Meanwhile, Reverend Given Simwinga of Grace Ministries emphasised that the church plays a vital role in the fight against drug abuse by incorporating anti-drug abuse messages into church services and other gatherings.
“If government pronouncements come to fruition the better, because some rehabilitation centers do not have enough personnel to give counsel to abusers,” Rev. Simwinga said.
The reverend stated that church leaders should seize opportunities to discuss drug-related issues with youths, encouraging them to engage in entrepreneurial activities to keep themselves occupied.
“It is not only during preaching, when ministers of the gospel are invited on other meetings like weddings, we should take the opportunity to talk about such vices,” he said.
And Daniel Mbazima, a drug addiction and recovery coach, applauded President Hichilema’s commitment to rehabilitating and enhancing treatment centers, describing it as a step in the right direction.
Mr. Mbazima expressed gratitude for government’s support, stating that it would greatly benefit individuals struggling with drug addiction and their families.
“The support will help a lot of people and people will know where to take drug addicts for assistance,” Mr. Mbazima.
He also appealed to government to strengthen laws governing the availability and accessibility of drugs in order to effectively combat drug abuse in the country.