The Minister of Local Government, James Muson,i has called upon parents, teachers, religious and local leaders to devise means of helping the youth stop abusing alcohol and drugs.
The abuse among the youth has been reported to be an escalating problem in the country of late and threatens to destroy the young generation.
“Drugs and alcohol have already destroyed a big number of our youth. It is at this point that I request everyone concerned to play a role in stopping the predicament and its effects,” said Musoni in a statement yesterday.
According to police statistics, alcohol and drug abuse tops the crime list and is a big threat to national security and development.
While illicit brew is produced in the country, most drugs consumed like cannabis, brown sugar, heroin and others, are smuggled from neighbouring countries.
By October 2011, 2,090 kilograms of cannabis and 7,056 litres of illicit brew had been seized and destroyed. According to police statistics, most people involved in the trade are between the ages of 18 and 35.
Musoni noted that such a big extent of abuse could cause irreparable damage to the youth. He explained that some of the effects of the trend include; dropping out of school, robbery, suicide, rape, contracting HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancies, among others.
“We call upon all concerned parties, especially those operating entertainment places like hotels, bars and nightclubs, to take the first step in fighting Alcohol and drug abuse among the youth,” he said.
In a telephone interview with The New Times, Alphonse Gatari a father of three teenage boys said that it all begins with the parents.
“Parents have the biggest role of talking to their children about drugs and alcohol and trying to also live by example,” noted Gatari, adding that there was no way a parent will talk to their children about abusing alcohol and yet they actually do the same.
“Many parents have failed to fulfil their parenting obligations because they cannot preach what they cannot do. They are the origin of all the behaviour of alcohol and drug abuse that prevail among our youth today.”