Home NewsNational The Cost Of Drug Abuse: How A University Student Spent Seven Years In One Class

The Cost Of Drug Abuse: How A University Student Spent Seven Years In One Class

by Williams Buningwire
1:22 pm

The student who failed to move an inch due to drug addiction. He has now opted to change

Drug abuse is just another story until you meet Patrick (not real name), a resident of Huye district, Southern province who found his education sabotaged by drugs for  nearly a decade now.

“I started slowly following my classmates who had already subscribed to drug addiction. Upon graduation at high school, I started working at my father’s business where my earnings could end in drugs. This spoiled my life,” he said.

“It’s now eight years since I graduated from high school and joined the University, but I am still in year one and I have studied at three Universities but I always fail to proceed to second year.”

Patrick further said: “My parents could give me tuition, but I could spend them solely on drugs. I initially thought that smoking meant happiness but all that I reaped from it was troubles. I reached an extent where I could steal parents’ clothes to sell them for drugs.

Patrick reached a point where he thought every police car passing was looking for him because he was arrested quite several times.

The last time he was arrested, Police took him to Huye Rehabilitation center to try psychology efforts.

In one year of rehabilitation, Patrick was able to defeat drug abuse addiction.

He made the revelation during the campaigns to fight drugs, human trafficking, and early pregnancies in schools at Cleveland TVET School, located in Nyagatare district, Eastern Province.

Themed “my responsibility and yours in preventing crimes in schools” the campaign also intends to fight early pregnancies among school girls.

“If you go into abusing drugs, my brother, my sister, know that you are ruining your own life. Mind the peer pressure, it can lead you into drugs,” he said.

A new person

Recently, Patrick and former drug addicts started an organization dubbed “Save Lives Foundation” that campaigns against the use of drugs in the country.

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) says that from 2018 to 2021, 18,559 people were investigated for crimes related to the abuse of drugs. Among them, 85% were males, 15 females and 529 were below 18 years old.

Those below 18 years old are students from various schools across the country, according to RIB.

RIB says drug abuse crime is punishable from 1 year to 25 years sentence in prison, depending on the type of drugs abused.

The anti-drug abuse campaign in schools started in March this year and is expected to reach every district of the country. It is conducted by the Ministry of Education and RIB who advise the youth to speak out about drug traffickers and addicts.

“Do not even try because it would lead to addiction which hurts parents and the whole country,” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education said.

“This is everyone’s responsibility, most especially parents. This message goes to all schools, all students; abusing drugs is criminal.”

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