8 November 2012

Tanzania: Drug Traffickers Must Face Law's Full Wrath

Photo: Brendan Brady/IRIN
An addict injects drugs.


THREE Tanzanians were apprehended at the Julius Nyerere International Airport early this week carrying an offensive contraband of 204 heroin pellets worth 204,000 US dollars in their stomachs.

This felony is, indeed, outrageous. And it is not the first one so far. Preliminary investigation has shown that the suspects were about to board different planes heading for Hong Kong and China. It is imperative to mention here that suspects are daredevils. According to Hong Kong and China laws, the penalty is execution.

If this is not deterrent enough, what then is? The latest drug haul is grim reminder that Tanzania is no longer a mere transit point for narcotic drug traffickers whose dangerous cargo is addressed to overseas consumers. It would be remiss, at this juncture, not to mention the dangers posed by narcotic drugs and alert consumers on the dire consequences they should expect.

It is critical to mention here that all narcotic drugs, including heroine are very dangerous. Medical workers point accusing fingers at heroine, cocaine, bhang, alcohol and other hard intoxicants such as valium and cannabis sativa as the main causes of lunacy and death. Most narcotic drugs have serious physical and psychological consequences.

An overdose or even symptoms can lead to an early grave. But let us take heroin and cocaine as examples. These two narcotic drugs pack a very powerful punch and have a range of ugly symptoms. Psychiatrists say that effects of low to moderate doses can include loss of memory; hilarity; changes in perception of time and space; loquacious euphoria; impaired coordination; misguided judgment; increased visual and auditory sensitivity.

Higher doses can lead to serious side effects, including various forms of mental health impairment. But, lo and behold! Regular and prolonged use of such drugs may also reduce immunity and resistance to infection. It can also induce hallucinations. Overdoses have also been known to be fatal.

This is why governments must squarely deal with drug barons, traffickers and users. Narcotic drugs serve no good purpose other than wrecking the lives of abusers and all this because some selfish individuals with avarice for quick riches want to make the 'fast buck' at the expense of the health and even lives of users.

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