In the Southern African nation of Botswana, illicit drug use is on the rise. A country with a strong political and governmental system, Botswana has seen growth and prosperity much higher than most of the continent. Along with economic prosperity comes expendable income to use towards drugs in some social circles. Illicit drug use is not uncommon in rural or urban areas. With such wide spread usage, government and World Health Organization officials have officially deemed the rise in usage in Botswana an epidemic. In the United Nations world drug report of 2012 a few things are made clear. Illicit drug use may spread HIV, crime rates, and societal instability. With as fragile as the African continent’s economy is, Botswana’s economic success is extraordinarily important to the total monetary and economic development of the region. High drug use though leads entire communities towards economic despair, drives health issues through the roof, and leaves families wondering how they will help their addicted family member cope and seek the treatment they need.
The cultural impacts are innumerable. Women are seen dealing illicit drugs in a sky-high rate greater than men, students in their higher education system are experimenting with hard drugs, and the increased HIV rates are weighing heavily on the nation. Epidemics grow and spread quickly. In order to keep Botswana a thriving nation, the WHO and other health organizations have got to step in and help treat the addicted quickly before the epidemic spirals out of control. New blood, the freshly graduated, educated, and healthy masses are needed to keep this nation and it’s economy churning in the right direction. Without proper treatment and acknowledgement of the issue, Botswana may turn towards a health crisis so extreme it could take decades to correct and treat. Prevention and rehabilitation are key to making sure this epidemic is stopped in its tracks.
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