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Zimbabwe’s Youth Watch their Future go Up in Smoke

Many youths in Harare have ventured into illicit and dangerous drugs such as mutoriro, with the numbers rising as the lockdown cut them off from jobs and their usual social lives. Known scientifically as methamphetamine, crystal meth is a highly addictive stimulant used for its powerful euphoric effects. Although the drug has been used in Zimbabwe for some years, its use has grown in the townships as the economic crisis grips the country, leaving few job prospects for its young people. Zimbabwe has nearly 90% unemployment, with young people worst affected. A gram of crystal meth costs $12 – a steep cost for most users in the townships and equivalent to a week’s rent on a room in a township. The drug-pushers have taken advantage of the use of foreign currency as legal tender in the country to milk the drug-thirsty market. With many young people battling drug addiction, the health system has been found wanting. Zimbabwe’s hospitals cannot treat addicts and the few rehabilitation centres are expensive. Peace Maramba, an expert in mental health, says the lack of public rehabilitation centres has worsened drug-induced mental health issues in the country