Drug abuse and methods of prevention in mixed public day secondary schools in Kiambu district, Kenya
Orifa, Nelly M.A.
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In Kenya, drug abuse has been reported to be a major cause of the current state of unrest and indiscipline among the young people in secondary schools in Kenya. The problem is indeed grave. Specifically, drug abuse has led to loss of students' lives during the unrests. This is of great concern to everybody. It is therefore imperative that secondary schools thoroughly understand the nature of drug abuse in schools and comprehensively come up with proactive measures that will address the vice. This study set out to investigate types of drugs abused by secondary school students, the processes used by the public secondary schools in Kiambu District to control drug abuse and also the constraints faced by the schools in fighting the menace. The sample comprised 100 students, five teachers and five deputy headteachers. Data were colleted by use of questionnaires and analysed quantitatively. The results were presented in frequency distributions, pie charts, bar graphs and column graphs and percentages. . The study found that majority of the students abused bhang, alcohol, miraa, and cigarettes. It also found that as a result of drug abuse, the schools experienced such problems as poor health of students, exam failure; dropout from school, arson violence, strikes, and truancy. The study also revealed that there are drug prevention programmes and the students are aware of them and that majority of the students have been exposed to the drug prevention programmes. Such drug prevention programmes in the schools involve teachers, parents, the Board of Governors (BoG)/Parents Teachers Association (PTA), teachers, students, invited guests and guidance and counselling departments. They include such activities as general awareness programmes, general guidance and counselling sessions, song, drama, poems, debates and speeches. However, the intervention approaches are fairly effective as some students still abuse drugs. The study therefore recommended that the government should Heighten its efforts and crack down on trafficking of bhang, miraa, and alcohol in schools. Also, the Ministry of Education should avail more information to students concerning the effects of drug abuse on health, examination performance and completion of school. Furthermore, there is need for schools to strengthen spiritual counselling, professional counselling, and peer counselling as necessary interventions to the problem of drug abuse. Finally, the study suggested that this study needs to be replicated in other districts as well to give a general picture of the whole country. The other suggestion is that more research needs to be done on the influence of students' gender and home background on the type of drug abuse.