CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
CHAINAMA Hills Hospital has warned that the growing trend among women of mixing powdered tobacco, locally known as ‘insunko’, with other drugs to stimulate their bodies for sexual purposes has potential to make them violent.
And Hospital senior nursing officer Mary Banda has disclosed that Chainama Hills Hospital attends to about 120 men with mental challenges caused by drug abuse monthly, which they attribute to pressure of providing for their families.
Mrs Banda said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that powdered tobacco is highly addictive, especially when mixed with other drugs, and can lead to a person becoming violent.
“It is not scientifically proven that insunko can stimulate someone sexually. Some people might even be depressed by it instead of being stimulated,” Mrs Banda said.
Mrs Banda said people in the habit of using harmful substances should bear in mind that every toxic substance, including snuff, exposes their lungs to different types of diseases and reduces their lifespan.
“Symptoms of drug abuse arise from using snuff [powdered tobacco] too much, which could be the dependency syndrome and mental symptoms,” she said.
And Mrs Banda said out of about 120 males that the health institution attends to monthly, only about 30 are found to be abusing drugs such as marijuana while the rest abuse alcohol.
“We only receive about four to six cases of women having mental challenges because they are stronger than men. Men have a lot of pressure because they have to provide for their families and that makes them vulnerable to substance abuse, ending into unexpected problems,” she said.
Mrs Banda said most women, however, end up abusing drugs and having mental challenges because of depression caused by disappointment.
She said families usually find it difficult disclosing when a relative is having mental failures because of abusing drugs, making it difficult for the hospital to handle such cases.
Mrs Banda said the best way for people to fully recover is by accepting that they have a problem and then undergoing counselling and medicinal treatment.