President Edgar Lungu has expressed concern at the high levels of alcohol and substance abuse among the youths.
President Lungu observed that the abuse of alcohol has contributed to moral decay among the young people.
He said lack of inactivity is leading youths to indulge in substance abuse.
However, President Lungu has revealed that government is making steady progress in strengthening the enforcement of the relevant laws and regulations so as to curb alcohol and substance abuse.
The Head of State said this when He addressed the second meeting of the second session of the twelfth National Assembly, on the progress made in the application of national values and principles.
President Lungu told the house that government has intensified the implementation of youth empowerment programmes aimed at equipping the youths with skills, equipment and start up capital for income generating activities.
He also disclosed that last year 2,667 youths street vendors were empowered with loans while an additional 1,000 youths were empowered with motorised cargo tricycles.
And commenting on the sporting fraternity, President Lungu says government is implementing the anti doping programme.
President Lungu said the programme is aimed at sensitizing athletes, sports administrators, coaches, physical education teachers and youths against the dangers of taking performance enhancing substance.
He disclosed that 5,400 individuals have been trained so far in five provinces.
Commenting on child marriage, The Head of State said government said is in a process of implementing a five year national strategy on ending child marriage.
He explained that the national strategy is aimed at achieving 40 percent reduction of child marriages by 2021.
President Lungu said the strategy also highlights the causes and consequences of harmful traditional practices that encourage early marriages.
The President said government is working with traditional leaders as they are the custodians of customs and traditions.
He noted that 80 chiefs and 84 headmen have been oriented on the harmful effects of early marriages and teenage pregnancies in 2017.
President Lungu maintained that traditional leaders are important players in ending child marriages.