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‘Go December Boss’ – CAT is the main drug in circulation this festive season.

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The local adage ‘Go December Boss’ is affiliated with the vibe and hype of December, one of the silliest seasons of the year. A time when new experiences are explored and high risks and experiments are taken. With travel people seek a new location to visit with loved ones.

In regards to dining some may choose a different restaurant from the norm or eat and prepare recipes they normally would not. This is also a time when alcohol and drugs are in good supply and are easily accessible. Both the Botswana Police and the Botswana Substance Abuse Support Network (BOSASNet) confirm that the main illegal drug currently circulating is CAT, internationally known as ‘The poor man’s cocaine’.

“CAT is the street name. In Setswana it’s called Katse. When we subject the drug to analysis we find Cathinone and other substances,” explains the Ass. Supt, Officer in Charge of Investigations (Narcotics) at Botswana Police, Petrus Nkgetse.

The Narcotics team started to notice CAT in Botswana in early January 2015; CAT is a white coloured drug that is mainly snorted through the nose. Amongst the illegal substances, the most popularly used as observed over the years by the police has been Marijuana, followed by Crack Cocaine, and Ecstasy.

Marijuana is constantly leading in terms of usage and is also the most affordable illegal drug. “People who were using Crack Cocaine have moved on to CAT. The drug users range from 18 – 45 years,” shares Nkgetse.

“CAT is created with substances which have major side effects. You will notice with CAT users that they have damage to the mucous membrane of their nose,” observes the policeman. CAT is currently selling on the streets for P100 per sachet.

Listening to the Clinical Programmes Manager at the Botswana Substance Abuse Support one gets an insight into the life of an addict. This is someone who will sell anything including him/herself to get another hit.

The ranges of substances that are used in Botswana are just as elaborate as those used by the rest of the world’s addicts, she says. She lists as common among the youth the use of Alcohol, Cigarettes (Nicotine) and Marijuana (Weed).

Among the ‘older youth’ or those who are working and have jobs the trending drugs are currently CAT, Crack Cocaine and Alcohol. “The more intensified drugs such as CAT, Ecstasy, Heroine and Cocaine are being used by the older youth or the working youth.”

Manyanda therefore concurs with the Botswana Police that CAT is the trending drug. “It’s called CAT. Others suspect its Crystal Meth. We are still not sure of the content of the drug,” she adds. Nkgetse also agrees with Manyanda that, “To increase the potency of the drug, the sellers will add anything because nothing is regulated.”

The medicine cabinet or the place you stash your winter season leftovers in the house is a great source for addicts who use Codeine; which is found in regular cough syrups. “If you hear your child saying we are chilling and drinking some ‘lean’ you must know they are getting high on Codeine,” she shares.

A saying she’s heard from her young clients is that, “We don’t hustle with dealers,” when elaborated it means the children resort to their parent’s medicines to get high. Another popular drug found in homes is the over the counter ‘sleeping pill’.

The Clinical Manager has observed that once you get one person reporting any particular drug use it means the problem is widespread. She observes that in 2012 BOSASNet had no clients addicted to Cocaine but of late they are on their 11th Cocaine addicted client.

“With drug abuse it is hard to know the exact numbers because people only come when there is a problem.” She adds that it is usually the teachers, employers and parents who identify drug abusers and report the matter.

The observation from both professionals is that drugs are offered to you. “Drug dealers are smart. Initially they give you the drugs for free, knowing that once you are hooked you will be the one chasing them,” adds Nkgetse. “Just because the drug is undetectable via the breather-lizer, it doesn’t make it okay,” advises the BOSASNet representative.

 

If you or anyone you know needs help with substance abuse kindly contact BOSASNet on 3959119 and 3913490 or 72659891.

 

If you would like to report any matter to do with above contact the Botswana Police on 999.

 

Please call Mascom line number 14000 to enter the competition and help raise funds to keep BOSASNet afloat.

 

 

 

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FREE AT LAST: LGBTI persons celebrate

Yvonne Mooka

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CELEBRATION TIME: The LGBT community celebrated the historic ruling on same sex romance this Tuesday

Thapelo Matshameko, a transgender woman who last year was attacked at Trekkers night club in Gaborone is over the moon about the High Court ruling that overturned a law that criminalised same sex relations.

A trans-woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. In response to the ruling, she told The Midweek Sun that even though she has had it tough before with people calling her ‘Brazen’ and to stop behaving like a woman, she is now happy that the law recognises that they exist. She said that Batswana are now becoming tolerant towards Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons.

“Recently I went out for dinner with my bae, and I came all the way from my house wearing a dress. People that know me loved it and my boyfriend loved it even more,” she says, adding that the verdict will also help other LGBTI persons that are in the closet to come out.

In a previous interview Metshameko pleaded for assistance from members of the public to help her do a surgery that would make her a complete woman. For Motswakgakala Sithole also known as Motswafere in music circles, the ruling shows that Botswana is one step closer to gay marriages.

“Thank you to all the visible gay people. We take punches for those hiding and those shaming us for being visible and exercising our rights. You guys attended court cases with pride and you have carried us to freedom,” he said.

He also thanked Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), lawyers in the case, the media, and friends of the LGBTI community for their support. Phio Kenosi who identifies as trans non-binary asexual woma-romantic, (romantically attracted to the feminine essence), was also ecstatic.

“It is obviously showing that we are moving in a new direction that is positive and inclusive towards sexual and gender minority,” he said.

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Wame – a little einstein in the making

Irene Shone

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LITTLE EISTEIN: Wame Kangumbe

Wame Petit Kangumbe, 12, is an Optometrist in the making.

Kangumbe envisions taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the next level by inventing something scientific in the future.The standard 7 pupil at Ratsie Setlhako Primary School in Palapye impressed everyone during the BIUST 5th STEM Festival and Research and Innovation Symposium with her sharp answers during the fest.

The little Scientist believes that the entire country should embrace science and do more experiments, to find out more about our physical environment and shed dependency on foreign countries in terms of Science and Engineering.

Her secret to relating with different topics so well, is research and more research. “I like researching. We have Wi-Fi at home, and so I often use my mother’s phone to type different topics and interact with how everything is related. I always prepare for the next lesson through researching,” she said.

She said the poverty in Africa can only be eliminated through STEM. “If everyone could take interest in STEM, we would go further in terms of uplifting the status of our economies as African countries,” she said.

She urged her peers to believe in themselves and be serious about their education. “When you write down your notes in class, make an application of what you want out of them. Everyone’s life is in their own hands,” she advised.

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