Can we have a genuine conversation about drug addiction in Uganda? Lately you cannot attend an event or a festival without the presence of dangerous drugs being sold by someone. Sad part? These drugs are actually brought in by people with the means to import, those who manipulate their positions of power for their greed at the expense of the lives of innocent Ugandans.
Drug trafficking in Uganda has grown bigger so access to heroin, molly, ecstasy and cocaine has been made easier that so many young people looking for different a high than what they are used to have a heavy variety. One high and a good time for a night leads to trying it out the next time and the next. Slowly this grows into an addiction.
In most cases parents respond by, cutting off the financial help provided to their children after finally seeing the problem thinking it will stop the addict but sooner or later; the addict resorts to stealing from the family so as to feed their habit.
I am sure every family has that one child, the one who has been the poster child for drug abuse. The one teenagers are warned with “If you spend your life in bars and clubs, you will end up like so and so just stranded at 30 living off of your parents…”
That one child who has refused all the help they have been given by family and friends to fight the addiction. Every family or neighborhood has that one caution tale, someone who spends their days/ nights in the bar and is now considered a nuisance.
There’s a drug that I learned about last year, I actually didn’t know it existed till a friend burst my bubble and told me about a couple of people we used to be close to who are addicted to it. Low grade heroin or Kachwiiri (I have never caught the spelling) which is a mixture of weed and poorly made heroin is one of the biggest addictions on our Kampala streets. I tried to go to buy it in Bakuli for research purposes but got recognized by former schoolmates who are now heavy addicts and the dealer ran away. It turns out police has been trying hard to crack down on the spread of the drug on the market so they are always on the standby to run.
When I saw a boy who used to be one of the cutest and intelligent boys those days looking like he has not showered in years, wearing a sandal that has seen better days, my heart broke. He still had that air about him of “girls want me” but he seemed older than I am by years. He was so skinny you could see the bones in his hands and his fingers blackened by the constant use of the drug. He was there with many more who ran away when they saw me then asked me for some money to go buy food, I cried. I sat down and cried, I asked him why he keeps running away from rehab and why he won’t go home. He cried too, he said he wanted to stop, that he had tried, but it seems nothing is changing. After a while when I decided to leave, he asked me for some money for transport. I told him we could go home together but he came up with so many excuses, I gave him some money but I knew where that was going. I couldn’t stop crying.
The boda guy (motorbike rider) I was with said they are always there in Bakuli or Kisenyi and sometimes their rich parents come with police to take them away but they still run away from rehab back to streets for more.
I hope we stop speaking about this and actually implement measures, because we can’t keep losing so many brilliant young ones to this scourge.
Stop enabling your friends and their addictions when you are with them, you see them popping mollies and ecstasy every night you are out and just cheer on. Speak against it.
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