Extent of drug and drug abuse in selected public boarding secondary schools in Kitui District, Kenya
Oyugi, Lilyann Ndanu
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A lot of research work and investigations have revealed the prevalence of drug abuse in most secondaryschools in Kenya. The vice is currently a topic that has continued to generate a lot of interest to the Government, Educationists, Parents and the other Educational Stakeholders. It has been blamed for mass indiscipline, destruction of properties and poor performance in both curriculum and co-curriculum activities in our schools and institutions of higher learning.The primary purpose of this study was therefore to investigate access and use of drugs in public secondary schools in Kitui district. To realise the purpose of the study, a descriptive survey design was adopted. Primary data was collected by use of questionnaires. The questionnaires contained both open ended and structured questions, which targeted students, teachers and the head teachers. Infonna1 discussions were held where necessary to seek clarification and ad?itional information from the respondents. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for data processing and analysis. The first stage of processing and analysis involved computation of frequencies, and percentages. The second stage involved testing of hypotheses by use of chisquare to test for independence between observation made and patterns of association, respectively. The study revealed that the prevalence of drug abuse in secondary schools in Kitui District is high. It also showed that there was a significant difference in the prevalence of drug abuse on thebasis of gender, age, and the person a student lives with. The most common types of drug abused by the students were cigarettes, alcohol and bhang. It further showed that the main sourcesof drug to the students were from friends and through the school fence. The major influencesto drug abuse were friends, drug abusing parents and siblings. The study revealed that themost common method used to discourage drugs in schools was through guidance and counselling. In conclusion, it was evident that the problem of drug abuse in the schools was far from being solved. However, means exists of effectively using guidance and counselling to discouragedrug abuse. The study recommends that professionally trained teacher counsellors should be posted to the schools to assist in counselling. There is also need to in-service schooladministrators and guidance teachers on new trends in counselling.