BACO kenya has various training programs on drug and substance abuse. These programs are done in various institutions and colleges. Others are organized events at various regions. Youths, students and young adults are given opportunity to freely share ideas on drug abuse and substance misuse.
Drug misuse and substance abuse is one of the causes of suicide in Kenya. The intentions of Taking drugs like alcohol for example to make one forget or rather to reduce depression sometimes turns dangerous.When these dangerous drugs are taken, they instead change the way of reasoning and the victims opt for a run away solution than facing the realities of solving the problem.
Many recreational and prescription drugs can induce psychotic symptoms that can mimic serious psychiatric disorders.Drug-induced psychosis has been associated with suicidal thoughts, dangerous and violent behavior, hospitalization, and arrests.Because treatment modalities can vary, it is important to distinguish whether psychotic symptoms are substance-induced or caused by other factors.
BACO intend to meet these challenges by first identifying the underlying factors that contribute to youths Taking drugs. These factors if dealt with, it would be of no value to abuse drugs.Drug and substance abuse in Kenya is a menace that continues to wreak as one with potential to impact negatively on youth's mental health,
BACO Kenya is liaising with relevant bodies in order to meet these gaps. Drug and substance abuse cuts across all age groups but the worst affected are youths since adolescence naturally places them at cross roads as they contend with identity crisis along other social and psychological problems. Numerous recent surveys point to the fact that most youths especially those in learning institutions consume drugs.
Bhang and cheap alcohol are the most abused by two thirds of Kenyan youth thought to be using drugs. Other commonly abused drugs are Miraa or khat, Shisha, Tobacco, Cocaine and Mandrax.Drug abuse in secondary schools in Kenya is quite disturbing. Our team has produced various reading materials which are helpful to our Secondary students.
As things stand, the prevalence of drug abuse among Kenyan youth is so high that some affected parents have switched on to denial mode as others simply look on hoping for a miracle.
Does drug and substance abuse just happen ? Far from it, reasons or causes of drug abuse are numerous and varied. A lot of youths get hooked to drugs while in search for acceptance in a social group. They make decisions with a primary goal of fulfilling the expectations of their peers. A teen can be lured into certain behaviors by simply watching images of his/her peers acting so. Such images sampled mostly on social media are as influential as drugging and drinking with friends in one room.
If a teen thinks trying out a risky action or behavior will boost their standing in a group, chances are they will give it a shot; at least once. While at Uasin Gishu primary school, Eldoret, in class four, I remember jumping 9feet down from a swing frame simply because a bunch of classmates were doing it. I landed awkwardly and left nursing a fractured arm.
Study shows that about iut 21% to 42% of Kenyan youths who consume drugs are influenced by peer pressure and it certainly ranks among the top causes of drug abuse among students
The modern adolescent finds it quite difficult to relate to traditional values and norms and the changes taking place in the current family structure. These compounded by social demands on their performance, the current tolerant society, and poor communication open doors of confusion leaving youths vulnerable to experiment with drugs.
Who should take the blame for the current moral decay among the youth? Parents, teachers, family and spiritual leaders all share this responsibility. Parents however take a chunk of the load since they are closer to the teenager. Sadly these stakeholders are too distracted to spend quality time with youths and communicate critical values. If you’ve heard of the phrase ‘absent fathers,’ then you know what I am talking about.
A parent’s attitude towards drugs and substances is likely to draw the child into the habit based on how the two relate and interact. Hence, children raised in an environment where parents use drugs easily follow suit. Religious leaders who abuse drugs and get implicated in various scandals also leave the youths more confused, not sure where to turn for moral guidance. Several teachers have been accused of peddling drugs among students.
Teenagers fall into this trap owing to influence from those they depend on for inspiration. Survey done by Barclays Spaces for Sports revealed that 2,700 teens (Ages 13-18) were largely drawn into drug abuse by celebrities than people they knew in person. There are celebrities who glorify drug consumption amid fame and increasing wealth. Youths following such a celebrity are more likely to take drugs to identify more with their hero.
Youths who subscribe to the Rastafarian faith usually abuse bhang or ‘Weed’ as an act of obedience to a religious tenet. Recommended for use during Rastafarian rituals, marijuana is believed to take the user up to a state of cosmic consciousness where they get closer to Jah and view ‘the truth’ more clearly.
High school students need to be understood well since they are at the peak of adolescence. They tend to be rebellious if not approached well. A study shows that highhandedness by the school administration may contribute up to 50% of drug abuse among students. Lack of freedom was found to contribute 22% while harsh treatment did 17%
Drug peddling hotspots include food kiosks, parks, liquor outlets, streets parties and homes. Some disabled people, beggars and street families also hide under the cloak of misery and offer themselves as conduits for drugs and illegal substances. Therefore, proximity to these centers plays a big role in fueling the drug menace in schools where the culture is tolerated
Marriages that break when children are in their adolescent stage usually influence their choice for drugs.. They do this hoping to break away from emotional and psycological effects resulting from divorce. In some cases, the poverty that follows family breakups pushes children into streets where circumstances compel one to take drugs as a temporary cushion against the harsh living conditions
The weak economy with dwindling job opportunities has pushed a number of people into drug dealing for survival. Unfortunately, these peddlers target students and unemployed youth who readily stray into drug consumption to momentarily find relief from harsh realities of life.
Well off parents that give their children excess pocket cash also tempt them to spend such idle cash on drugs and substances
Youths who prefer injectables like heroine usually share syringes and expose themselves to the risk of HIV infection. Generally, drug and substance abuse tends to impair one’s judgment hence suicidal thoughts.
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