Gaborone Central legislator, Dumelang Saleshando, has called for an urgent establishment of a specialized alcohol and drug treatment and rehabilitation centres.
Saleshando said this on Friday as he tabled a motion requesting government to ‘expeditiously set up a specialized alcohol and drug treatment and rehabilitation facility from the proceeds of the levy’.
According to the MP, alcoholism and drug abuse are a major problem in Botswana. He said that, sadly, there was currently no rehabilitation facility to assist those in dire need of such services.
He said as it stands, the only non-governmental organization that had sort to focus on drug and substances abuse has closed down as a result of lack of funds.
The outgoing Leader of the Opposition said in his constituency, teachers were grappling with alcohol and drug abuse at secondary school.
So serious is the situation that cigarette smoking and marijuana are seen as minor misdemeanors.
He said that there were several cases of abuse of hard drugs at most of the schools around the Gaborone Central constituencies.
He said as a harmful human condition, alcoholism and drug abuse required specialized treatment.
The BCP leader said that if the problem is not addressed urgently, there is a very high possibility that Botswana could lose a generation of young people to drugs and substance abuse, adding that the alcoholism was also prevalent in Botswana and there is an urgent need for government intervention.
The motion also received support from Tonota North MP, Fidelis Molao, who also called for a rehabilitation centre to be established immediately.
“What we need to note is that alcohol and drug abuse is not an illusion,”
Molao said, adding that many people’s dreams had crumpled after they succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse.
He said that Botswana has never had a facility to assist those trapped.
“Alcohol levy was meant to discourage excessive drinking but sadly we left the issue of those already hooked,” said Molao.
He added that it was obviously clear that the Ministry of Health spends fewer resources on rehabilitation arguing that it was time to prioritise rehabilitation.
“I appeal to government to set up this facility as soon as possible,” adding that drug and alcohol abuse could spiral out of control leading, for instance, in the rise in HIV/AIDS infections as well as other social ills.
Molao also urged law enforcement agencies to act on drug cartels that target school going children.