Drug abuse rising – experts report

Kampala – Uganda

At any given time, there are at least 140 people admitted at Butabika hospital over drug abuse, most of them youth between 18 and 25 years, the hospital acting executive director has said.

As the world marked the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking yesterday, Dr David Basangwa said there are a just few that make it to the hospital, adding that the problem is on the rise.

A separate study in Kampala found that 22 per cent of students used and abused drugs; alcohol, marijuana, and khat (mairungi) being the most abused in that order. The report further found that no school was free of drug abuse.

“Drug abuse is on the rise world over and here in Uganda we are facing the same problem. We have had to put some patients on the waiting list for admission because the bed capacity is not enough,” Dr Basangwa said. Drug abusers constitute 20 per cent of patients admitted to Butabika usually as a result of severe mental illness.

Dr Basangwa and other experts say most drug abusers start while at school or university, they get messed up, drop out of school and usually form the highest percentage of gangsters.

Mr Bennett Alinda, the executive director of the United Initiative Alliance for Youth, an organisation that educates youth against using and abusing drugs, said most students engage in the vice because it has become ‘the new cool’ in schools.

Mr Alinda, himself a student, said during his time at school, most students started taking drugs because they wanted to keep up with peer groups, feel good and appear bold.
The principal medical officer, Mental Health and Control of Substance at the Ministry of Health, Dr Sheila Ndyanabangi, said weak laws against drug traffickers, lack of awareness of both parents and pupils were some of the bottlenecks to raising a drug abuse free society.

She said a drug control master plan was currently under way together with the Narcotics Control Bill in Parliament, which if enacted, would increase penalty for drug dealers and also help rehabilitate drug abusers.

Visit Link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Drug-abuse-rising—experts/-/688334/1895790/-/2vmn9hz/-/index.html


Uganda Harm Reduction Network (UHRN) is a Community Based Organisation, established in 2011, Reg No. WCBO/1253/11, found by former drug users, to provide a national platform and reduce the health, social and economic harms associated with “drug use”. We further seek to develop an enabling environment for the implementation and expansion of human right interventions for Drug Users (IDUs, Sex Workers and Youth) in Uganda in partnerships with other stakeholders as we strive for victory. Vision: “A Ugandan society that reorganizes and protects the health, social, economic and human rights of drug users”. Mission: “To reduce the health, social and economic harms associated with drug use to develop an enabling environment for the implementation and expansion of human right interventions for drug users in Uganda. Objectives: We work to: • Promote access to cancer screening, psychosocial support and comprehensive care (HIV, SRHR, TB, and Hepatitis B and C treatment). • Organize and equip drug users whose rights have been violated to take responsibility of their health, social, economic wellbeing and sustainability through economic empowerment trainings and functional adult literacy programmes. • Document and expose human rights violations against drug users and call for legal protection and engage in policy reforms on laws that negatively impact on drug users. • Build partnership, synergy and develop the leadership capacity of drug users to take charge of their program. • Promote the health, social economic and human rights of “drug users” in Uganda irrespective of their social, economic, academic, cultural or political background. • Promote safer sex education such as condom use, needle and syringe exchange program, comprehensive care and mechanism on how to deal with issues of overdose, trafficking and violence against drug users. • Call for an enabling environment and strengthen partnerships towards “drug users”. Core values for UHRN: The driving forces that guide all actions and practices in UHRN are:- • Social justice, protection and recognition in society • Love and respect for one another. • Support and care for one another • Honesty in all our undertakings • Empathy for each other as drug users • Sharing the available resources.

5 comments on “Drug abuse rising – experts report
  1. Sbelisle says:

    Having safe sober living environments are paramount to stemming the flow of addiction.

  2. uganda should fight hard against drug abuse

  3. nabwire brenda says:

    we should start with drug suppliers to reduce drug abuse.

  4. nambasa eunice says:

    high taxes should be imposed to dose taking and dose producing them

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