Saturday, January 12, 2013


Drug abuse is a problem that is presently being experienced in many parts of the world, Tanzania included. When used according to a doctor’s prescription, drugs can be people’s best friends. They will cure all our ailments and restore us to good health.  Nevertheless, drugs can be abused if someone takes too many of them and harm the user. They can be of value to us only when they are used for medical reasons as  prescribed by a doctor.

Among the most commonly misused drugs are tranquillisers like Valium and painkillers like Panadol and Aspirin. In the group of illegal drugs are cannabis in different forms, khat and methaquolone, also known as mandrax, heroin and cocaine.

Recent studies in Tanzania show that a large percentage of adolescents have used drugs or substances like tobacco and alcohol at a young age. At the same time, they lack basic knowledge about the effects and dangers of these drugs.  This often puts them at risk and can lead to health problems, diseases, including HIV/Aids and social problems.
             DAR ES SALAAM, 27 June 2007 (IRIN) - Drug trafficking and abuse were  increasing in Tanzania and concerted efforts  abled  to check this trend, President Jakaya Kikwete  said. "Tanzania used to be a transit point for drugs, but now the number of users is escalating very fast," Kikwete said at public rally to mark international anti-narcotics day on 26 June in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial capital. He urged the police, other law enforcement bodies, parents and activists to step up the war against narcotics, saying trafficking and use of drugs had reached alarming levels. He said the problem was especially serious in Dar es Salaam, the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar and in the northern towns of Arusha, Mwanza and Tanga. Between 2005 and 2006, police impounded 375 tonnes of bhang (a form of cannabis), 101.5kg of heroin and 35kg of morphine, among other prohibited substances, according to a statement issued by the country's anti-narcotics unit. It said at least 11,500 suspects were arrested over the two years on drug-related charges, with most arrests being made at airports, ports and streets in various parts of the country. The president said 200 drug barons had been arrested and charged in court during the past two years. Some were jailed or fined, he said. Kikwete directed local government authorities and teachers to ensure premises near schools were not turned into drug peddling centres or hideouts for criminals. "We have to be vigilant in fighting the vice," he said.

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