Family and Socio-Cultural Practices Influencing the Onset and Continuation of Alcohol and Drug Use among Village Polytechnic Students in Makueni County, Kenya
The study on which this paper is based sought to find out family and community dynamics encouraging substance abuse among students. The objectives of the study were to investigate (i) Family and socio-cultural practices that trigger the initiation and continued use of alcohol and drugs. (ii) The most commonly abused drugs. (iii) Students’ awareness of harmful effects of substance abuse and, (iv) Interventions implemented to discourage drug abuse among students. The study was guided by Kissim & Beglier (1977) model which views alcoholism as an incurable disease, whereby patients cannot control its consumption. The patients’ lives deteriorate as the addiction/disease gets worse, leading to maladaptive behaviours, or death if not treated. The study adopted the survey design. Participants of the study were 105 students and three teachers from village Polytechnics. The findings of the study included that alcohol is available at home and that the most commonly abused drugs are chang’aa, cigarettes, bhangi and khat. In addition, the study found that the strategies to counter drug abuse include guidance and counseling and talks by NACADA officials/health workers. The study recommended that using alcohol at home and in social functions should be discouraged.