Kachere has identified the dangers and effects of drug and alcohol abuse among youths and other age groups. This is posing a danger and risks to the health of many people. This abuse of drugs and alcohol has resulted in many young people being used as a conduit for trafficking in narcotics. With the growing unemployment levels among youths, such vices always drive them into such illicit undertaking. We have noticed the dangers that our nation has of being used as a conduit for drug trafficking in the region. As part of enhancing knowledge and information sharing, KDP staffs were trained in a 5 dayAlcohol and Drug harm reduction organised by the USAID Zambia led Prevention Initiative in Lusaka. The program has been using the SHARPZ training manual which integrates HIV/AIDS, Alcohol, Drugs and Safe Space.
In schools, young people resort to marijuana as a catalyst in increased memory retention because they believe their ability to perform well is enhanced by such drugs. It has however been
realised that such drugs have long term effects on their health. This training has now been planned for 2013 to be launched in schools so as to minimise such practices by school children.
In our communities, our nation experienced the rising trends of producing highly illicit dry spirits commonly known as ‘Tujiri-jiri’. These are sold on the open market as sachets and as such were affordable to be purchased even by school children. We thank the Government for enacting a ban on the production of such products. However, it is sad to note that some of these products are still sold secretly. The research has also proven that drugs and alcohol have a direct impact to the increasing HIV infection among the Most At Risk Populations (MARPs).
For example, our programs of working with sex workers under the brand of the Chisomo Girls Rehabilitation Project, has shown that most young girls resort to alcohol and drugs to increase their ability and strength of having more than one sexual partner in a night. At the same time, the drugs and alcohol have overshadowed the power of girls and women innegotiating for safe sex and so this has resulted in high cases of sexual transmitted infections (STI’s). Our program is already reaching out to 100 former sex workers and 23 are receiving direct support in terms of capacity development, skills and microcredit opportunities. The Alcohol and Drug abuse program is now being extended into faith communities through the local churches as the faith communities are equally places of high risks.