Extent And Patterns Of Drug Use Among Persons With Disabilities In Kenya
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Background: Although some data existed suggesting that there was high prevalence of drug use among the general population in Kenya with 39-48% of 15-65 year olds having used alcohol and at least one other substance, there was a general absence of comprehensive data on the extent of drug use among Persons With Disability (PWD). The current study therefore sought to fill the gap by establishing the extent and patterns of drug use among PWD. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study targeting PWD based in learning institutions as well as within the community in three selected regions of Kenya (Nairobi, Coast and Central). A combination of stratified and purposive sampling was used to identify a sample of 486 PWD. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and quantitatively analysed using descriptive statistics, namely, frequencies and percentages to show the extent and patterns of drug use among PWD. Results: The findings revealed that 35% of the respondents had used some form of drug, with a majority having done so between the ages 15-19 (43.3%). Further, 13.6% had used at least one substance in the past year, 7.4% in the past month and 3.9% had used drugs daily. The type of drug used were alcoholic beverages (28.2%), tobacco products (19.6%), khat (miraa/muguka) (14.8%) and marijuana (9.2%). Conclusion:The findings proved that compared to the general population, the prevalence of drug use among PWD is higher for most of the drugs. The findings point to an urgent need for policies to guide Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ADA) prevention and treatment programmes targeting PWD.