Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in Africa


Extent of Drug Abuse

In a 1990 study conducted among 976 respondents in Primary Health Care Centres (PHC) (21.4%),  psychiatric services (25.7%), schools (29.6%), prisons (11.5%), elsewhere (11.8%), about 692 reported their about their use of intoxicating substances, which include alcohol and tobacco. Among those who reported any use of intoxicating substances, medical preparations were abused by 3.3 per cent, "African herbs" 3 per cent and volatile solvents 1.3 per cent. About 14 per cent abused a drug once in their lifetime, 60.1 per cent from time to time, 20.3 per cent daily and 5.6 per cent several times a day (Facy and Delile 1990).

Abuser Characteristics

According to the study above, among those who reported any use of intoxicating substances, 42.6 per cent were less than 19 years old, 41.2 per cent between 20 and 24 years of age, 10.8 per cent between 25 and 29 years old and 5.4 per cent 30 years or older (Facy and Delile 1990).

                                                                       Regional Variations

No information available.


No information available.

Mode of Intake

No information available.



According to the study above, drug abuse led to a first contact with a PHC (42.5%), police (28.7%), psychiatric services (3.3%) and incarceration (1.5%) and other services (24%).

            Among drug abusing respondents, 4 per cent reported attempting suicide before commencing drug abuse and 1.2 per cent, in relation to drug abuse.  About 5.4 per cent reported school absenteeism, 0.6 per cent had run away from home and 24.1 per cent had reported other types of difficulties (Facy and Delile 1990).




National Strategy

No information available.

                                                    Structure of National Drug Control Organs

The central government unit responsible for liaison and coordination of national drug control policy is the Drugs Control Council of the Ministry of Health which is also the competent authority empowered to issue certificates and authorizations for the import and export of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.


                                                                         Treaty Adherence

Zimbabwe is party to the 1961 Convention as amended, the 1971 Convention and the 1988 Convention.

                                                 Measures Taken with Respect to Drug Control

Recently enacted laws and regulations:
None reported.

Licensing system for manufacture, trade and distribution:
There is a government-controlled system of licensing. In applying the system, difficulties were experienced with imports of narcotic drugs. No manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances was reported.

Control system:
(i) Prescription requirement: Prescription is a requirement for supply and dispensation of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
(ii) Warnings on packages: The law requires warnings on packages or accompanying leaflet information to safeguard the users of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
(iii) Control of non-treaty substances, if any: None reported.

                                                                          Social Measures

Penal sanctions related to social measures: In 1990, courts did not apply measures of treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation or social reintegration for a drug-related offence.
Other social measures: None reported.


                                                       DEMAND REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

Primary Prevention

No information available.

Treatment and Rehabilitation

No information available.


                                                        SUPPLY REDUCTION ACTIVITIES

Arrests, Convictions and Types of Offenses

See costs and consequences section above.


In 1992, 918.577 kg of cannabis herb, 215 u. of cannabis plants, 4.200 kg of cocaine (base and salts) and  0.80 kg of heroin were seized (ICPO/Interpol 1992).

                                                                    Supply Source of Drugs

No information available.

References and Notes

Facy and Delile 1990.  "Toxicomanes Pris en charge en Afrique: Enquךte Epidemiologique, Rיsultats provisoires".  Resultats Provisoires Juin 1990. (See document is in Senegal box).

ICPO/Interpol 1992. Figures were cited by ICPO/Interpol for the year 1992.


** The Legal, Administrative and Other Action Taken to Implement the International Drug Control Treaties section was prepared by the Secretariat of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs based on the Annual Reports Questionnaire for the year 1990.