The Impact of Drug Abuse Sensitisation Campaigns in Kenya
The use of drugs for purposes other than therapeutic ones by youths in Kenya is a worrying issue. This is made more complex by the fact that drug abuse is on the increase. This study sought to find out why drug abuse was on the increase among youths despite sensitization campaigns. Specifically the study sought to find out the concept youths, teachers and parents had on drug abuse, their awareness of the type of drugs on the Kenyan market and the associated dangers and why drug abuse was on the increase despite sensitization campaigns. The study utilized qualitative research methods. Sixty youths, ten teachers and ten parents participated in the study. Questionnaires and interviews were used. The study findings indicated that although the majority of respondents were aware of the term drug abuse, and viewed drug abuse as a serious problem in Kenya, they were reluctant to take individual responsibility in its eradication as it was felt this could cause unnecessary collision and it wasn't their responsibility. Bhang was regarded by respondents, as more prevalently abused than alcohol and tobacco. Peer group influence was seen as a major contributor to drug abuse. Drug abuse sensitization campaigns were regarded as not successful due to poor targeting; lack of focus on causative factors; poor implementation and they were boring. Recommendations included effective sensitization campaigns, emphasis on individual and parental responsibility, guidance and counseling programmes, incorporation of drug related topics in school curriculum, and stern measures taken by government on drug trafficking and abuse.