Drug abuse rife at Ingutsheni Hospital


INGUTSHENI mental hospital in Bulawayo has recorded an increase in patients suffering from alcohol, drugs and illegal substance abuse, authorities have said.

The hospital’s clinical director Wellington Ranga said: “There are 253 new male patients who were admitted in 2020, 375 were readmitted in the same year whereas in 2021, 371 were admitted and 406 were readmitted. In 2022, 449 new males were admitted while 400 were readmitted up to October, this year.”

He said 96 new female patients were admitted in 2020 and 165 were readmitted in the same year.

In 2021, 156 new female patients were admitted and 187 were readmitted during the same year

“From January to October this year, 449 new males were admitted and 400 were readmitted compared to 130 new females who were admitted and 168 females were readmitted this year,’’ he said.

In 2021, Ingutsheni announced plans to establish a drug addict rehabilitation centre at the psychiatric institution after government raised alarm over rampant drug abuse in the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said his government would take stern measures to stamp out the vice.

Government has also announced plans to upgrade existing mental health institutions so that they can admit drug abuse patients as part of efforts to tackle substance abuse among youths.

Public health experts have identified peer pressure, breakdown of the family support system, limited knowledge about the effects of drug abuse and stress as the major factors that drive substance and drug abuse among the youth. Reports indicate that a cocktail of drugs such as the chemically-treated marijuana called skunk, white-sniffing-powder, tik, and bron cleer cough syrup are popular among the youth.

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