Heroin abuse is causing widespread concern in Seychelles. Due to high unemployment and limited opportunities for young people, drug use is on the rise.
Seychelles is the least populated sovereign African country with only 99,000 citizens, half of which are below 25 years old.
Despite its low population, it has the highest per capita rate of heroin abuse in the world according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report. Over the years, this worrying trend has become a major concern for the Seychellois community.
The drug abusers typically inject, snort, or smoke to relax.
Prolonged use of heroin has led to severe physical and mental health complications for thousands of young people, including overdosing and, in some cases, death.
Seychelles being situated on the well-known ‘heroin route’ between Afghanistan and Europe is a significant factor in its high heroin rates. The drug enters the country through various smuggling operations.
Gen Z are particularly vulnerable due to a lack of employment and quality education. Despite their qualifications and skills, many are unable to find suitable jobs that match their career aspirations.
The job market is highly competitive, and the limited number of available positions are often filled by older, more experienced workers.
Additionally, many businesses in Seychelles struggle to stay afloat due to its small economy and heavy reliance on tourism. This makes it difficult to expand and create new job openings.
The education system in Seychelles has been criticized for not adequately preparing students for the job market. Graduates often lack the practical skills that employers are looking for, which further contributes to the challenge of finding employment.
As a result of these factors, many young people are left with limited options for their future, leading to frustration, disillusionment, and occasionally drug abuse.