Some prominent local musicians have joined the chorus of condemnation and regret towards the increasing number of locals, particularly schoolchildren and young adults, engaging in drug and substance abuse.

Recently, eight Upper Six students were expelled from Harare’s upmarket Dominican Convent High School after they were busted with drugs during a recent school trip.

Reports have shown that 60 percent of all admissions to mental health institutions in the country were caused by high drug use among the youths.

Afro-Jazz musician Dereck Mpofu blamed the vice on what he found as parenting failures in today’s parent.

“I believe we have more of a parenting epidemic as opposed to a drug epidemic at the moment in the country.

“I say this because if you look at the socio-economic background of a kid learning at Dominican Convent, it obliterates straight out of the water the commonly held assumption that drugs are a ghetto problem or a scourge of the poor.

“As parents, we’re not present. Away from the hullabaloo of the economic jungle where we chase money, targets, and goals every day and remote parenting where we believe money only can make up for our emotional absence. Let us recommit to being present in our kids’ lives,” he said.

Weighing on the same issue, Zimdancehall artist Guspy Warrior, real name Dereck Manyeruke, said for youths to be able to participate in crucial governance issues, drug abuse must be addressed.

“Yes, we want to vote but instead of saying register to vote, I would say stop drug distribution and alcoholism among the youths.

“Which youth will be able to go and register to vote when they are high on drugs? Will they be able, on voting day, to go and leave their paper in the ballot box whilst they are high?

“If you have a desire for youths to vote, let’s stop drug abuse, distribution, and alcoholism altogether,” said the musician via his Facebook page.

Jiti musician Baba Harare, real name Braveman Chizvino, said measures must be taken to stop the spike in drug abuse.

“Madrug awareness campaign aya is a waste of time (These drug awareness campaigns are a waste of time). We are all aware of the drug pandemic.

“We need prevention strategies and meaningful activities. Waking up in Zimbabwe sober as a youth is painful. Urgent instillation of hope is required.

“I am saying this not as an ambassador of any organization. Just as a concerned citizen who is seeing the streets of the city I live, work, and love full of needles.”

Romeo Gasa, a sungura musician, said he will use his music to urge youths to stay away from drugs.

“I think this should be addressed as a pandemic now because it is killing the youths and destroying their future. Youths should get educated on the effects of drugs and more workshops are needed to raise awareness.

“I advise the youths to stay away from drugs because as youths we’re the future,” he said.

Research has shown that drug use among the youths increased dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commonly used substances in Zimbabwe include glue, bronclee, mangemba, cane spirit, marijuana, codeine, and methamphetamine (crystal meth), broncleer, and musombodia.

Drug usage has also been attributed to idleness caused by high unemployment rates in the country.

In a bid to stop the infiltration and distribution of highly toxic and addictive drugs, police have been conducting raids on suspected drug peddlers.