The media has been described as a powerful tool in addressing substance abuse and other social behaviours in communities.
This came out at a meeting which focused on the impact of the media on substance abuse among young people, held in the capital this Thursday (today).
The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro today met with social influencers to deliberate on the impact of media on substance abuse among young people.
He said alcohol and substance use disorders contribute significantly to the disease burden worldwide and in Zimbabwe.
He implored musicians and artistes to use their influence in the campaign against the use of drugs and alcohol to reduce risks associated with such behaviours.
“We call upon you our local musicians and artistes as powerful social influencers to use the influence you have positively and encourage young people to walk away from drugs and alcohol and live long healthy drug-free lives,” he said.
Songstress Tererai Mugwadi who revealed that she had been a drug addict for 14 years, highlighted some of the challenges which force artists to indulge in drug and alcohol abuse, including peer pressure.
However, artists bemoaned the lack of recreational facilities in most high-density suburbs as this results in idle youths turning to drug and alcohol abuse.
Cannabis, prescription drugs for coughs such as Broncleer and Histalix are among the commonly used drugs in Zimbabwe.