Wednesday 22 November 2023


INGUTSHENI Central Hospital is overwhelmed with drug addicts with the health institution being forced to discharge patients who would not have completed their detoxification rehabilitation programme to accommodate new ones.

The psychiatric hospital is now forced to mix patients with psychotic conditions and drug addicts.

Patients from both low-income and high-income households are now being rehabilitated at Ingutsheni Central Hospital with the hospital ward that handles such patients sometimes carrying up to 400 patients.

The country is experiencing a serious drug and substance abuse problem which is a threat to the country’s socio-economic development.

Government has set up a special committee to attend to drugs and substance abuse in view of the threat posed by the scourge.

In an interview yesterday, Ingutsheni Central Hospital clinical psychologist Mr Tafara Manyuni, said the problem has become entrenched deeply in the society affecting the youth including professionals.

He said the youngest person to be admitted to Ingutsheni Central Hospital due to addiction associated with drugs and substance abuse is 14 years old, while the oldest is over 50 years old.

 Mr Manyuni said the hospital has established a new department that focuses on rehabilitating those abusing drugs and substances.

“We used to focus on mental conditions and psychotic conditions, but now we have those who abuse drugs and have an addiction problem and need rehabilitation. We are now coming up with a new a programme to help such people who are having psychotic problems due to drugs even when they do not have psychotic symptoms,” he said.

“We are mixing those with psychotic disorders  and those in need of rehabilitation which I don’t think is a good mix because their level of understanding can be different. I say so because you can have someone who has a drug problem, but does not have psychotic problems.”

Mr Manyuni said male admission of drug and substance users has reached 90 percent outweighing psychotic patients thus creating a challenge in the management of the clients.

He said the hospital has a six-week programme to detox those abusing drugs.

 “It is mandatory that if you are admitted here for at least the first two weeks you are supposed to be in the ward. But due to the programme that we are doing as a hospital for detoxification and drugs to wash away from your system and for detox to be successful, you have to stay for a minimum of a month without accessing drugs,” said Mr Manyuni.

He said the ward that handles drug addicts which accommodates up to 400 patients is always full.  Chronicle


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