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ZAMBIAN YOUTHS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE


THE call by government to the youth to stay away from drug abuse and trafficking is very welcome, and must be lauded by all citizens.

It may, of course, not be the very first time that government or other institutions, are urging the youth to stay away from drugs if they have to live meaningful lives and succeed in life.

This is one call which has been made numerous times to such an extent that it may have even lost meaning to some people but it is indeed a worthwhile call that deserves to be made for as long as it lasts because it is about a matter of life and death.

Drugs abuse and trafficking is indeed a matter of life and death because in as much as it may seem to create an illusion that it can bleeds happiness and riches, it eventually and ultimately leads to misery and death.

Like Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo rightly observed, drugs or substance abuse is harmful to people’s health and can distract national development.

As future leaders, Mr Kampyongo said, the youths must keep away from drug abuse and trafficking.

Mr Kampyongo said one of the targets under sustainable development goal number three on good health and wellbeing was to strengthen the prevention and treatment of sustainable abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.

“Boys and girls, I wish to earnestly urge you all to keep away from drug abuse and trafficking.

Aim high and know that the sky is not the limit because you can become whoever you want to be as long as you set your mind on it,” he said.

Indeed, the youth must understand that you shape yourself into the person you eventually become while growing up. In other words, allowing drugs or alcohol to influence you can effectively affect not just who you are today, but who you will become.

Substance abuse is especially dangerous to young people because it could easily damage or affect how their brains develop and result in impulsivity, sensation-seeking and slower cognitive function.

Substance abuse at a young age also brings along the dangers of addiction.

When a young person abuses drugs or alcohol, they risk the danger of embalming their brains in a state of readiness for more drugs and alcohol.

And the younger one starts using drugs, the more serious the problem is likely to become as they age.

New evidence also suggest that substances abuse may be more harmful to young bodies than to developed bodies.

Basically, young bodies aren’t ready to handle the challenge of substances.

Experts say that younger people who drink heavily are more likely to die earlier from liver complications than older people who drink similar amounts for similar durations.

Youths must bear in mind that substances abuse can also make you become a danger to yourself or others.

 The health risks associated with teen and young-adult substance use aren’t limited to the direct effects of the substances themselves but also come from the unacceptable behaviors of young people who use substances.

The foundation for successful relationships and careers is laid during young adulthood. And these two social stepping-stones in turn lay the foundation for wellbeing in later life.

If this critical period is instead spent abusing substances, young people can miss these important milestones in their social development.

Substance abuse at any given age can be devastating to mind, body and spirit, but especially when young, addiction or dependence can define the direction of your future life path.

Please keep in mind that the choices you make when young can help define who you will be for the rest of your life.

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