Friday, July 3, 2009

Sodomy, school fires blamed on drug abuse

By Charles Ariko

THE increasing cases of homosexuality and fire outbreaks in schools have been attributed to drugs and alcohol abuse.

Robert Ojaba, the deputy head of the Anti-Narcotics Unit in the Criminal Investigations Directorate, has said many students are lured into taking drugs and alcohol which lead them to deviant behaviours such as homosexuality.

“Schools have become targets for the drug barons. Once students are lured into drugs, they get hooked and are used as couriers. These students are normally lured with promises of money,” Ojaba said.

He was speaking at the commemoration of the International Day against Illicit Drug Trafficking at Mulago Community Centre in Kampala.

The ceremony was organised by the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, HIV/AIDS in Uganda.

Ojaba explained that because Uganda is one of the countries through which dangerous drugs, such as cocaine and heroin are trafficked, some of the drugs find their way into society, posing a high risk to the people, especially the youth.

“Our laws are not stringent. The highest a culprit can pay in fines once convicted by court is not more than sh2m.

Some of these traffickers smuggle drugs worth billions of shillings. That is why we have made proposals in a new Bill to have more stringent laws,” Ojaba said.

He added that marijuana was the most widely abused drug in the country.

Dr. David Basangwa, the acting executive director of Butabika Hospital, said the number of patients with alcohol-related mental illnesses was on the increase.

Basangwa said there were 150 patients at Butabika Hospital with alcohol and drug-related mental illnesses.

He urged the people to desist from abusing alcohol and drugs.

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