An investigation into the strategies used in addressing drug abuse problems'' a case study of Nairobi provincial boys secondary schools
Muhati, Linet Imbosa
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Many secondary school students are nowadays experimenting with drugs. This is causing a lot of concern as drug has been identified as a major cause of several of the problems experienced by secondary schools in Kenya. This study aimed at finding out the strategies and programmes used in secondary schools to increase drug awareness and curb their use and abuse. The study's presentation has been arranged in five chapters. Chapter one, addresses the background information, statement of the problem and objectives of the study. Chapter two makes a review of relevant literature to the study, whereas chapter three describes the methodology that was employed in sampling, collecting and analyzing the data. Chapter four has been dedicated to the analysis of the data and chapter five gives the conclusions and recommendations drawn from the study. The study was carried out in six boy secondary schools in Nairobi. A purposive sample of 24 teachers and a random sample of 120 students participated in the survey. The 144 participants responded to a questionnaire that was given to them. Their responses were tabulated and organized through frequency tables and percentages, and descriptively analyzed. From the survey, it was found that drug use and abuse occurs within the student population as a result of a complex range of factors and although while most of the head teachers, teachers and students admitted that drug abuse is a problem in their schools, only a few are taking a stand on the issue and helping to find solutions. The study revealed that some prevention, intervention and action strategies, and programmes are being used with a view to tackling the drug problem. However, these strategies are conducted in isolation from the wider school, community, and environmental context. The study noted little evidence that the programmes in existence have had any extended impact on student smoking, drinking or drug use because so many other factors-parental engagement, parental substance abuse, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, low self-esteem-are beyond the scope of these programmes. The programmes are reactive rather than proactive, have no clear objectives, are scanty, not well planned, implemented and give no procedures and guidelines on evaluation. The study also revealed that the schools have no clear drug policy. This has made it difficult for them to effectively express their intent, beliefs and resolve toward the prevention, intervention and control of drug abuse. The programmes in place have not been able to result into statistically significant reductions or generate a documentable positive impact. Considering that drug use and abuse carries with it both personal and interpersonal meaning and an inherent set of values which are dependent upon both the perceived benefits and negative consequences of such behaviour, a comprehensive study of drug use and abuse in schools should be carried out, after which, a detailed drug policy that shall encourage smooth planning, implementation and evaluation of the prevention, intervention and action strategies shall be developed. The study recommends multi-component programmes, as they are likely to produce the most positive effects for the greatest number of participants. An in view of the risk and potential factors associated with drug use, schools should forge collaborative linkages with other schools, family, students, teachers and the community so as to effectively develop and implement effective strategies and programmes to deal with drug problems. Other recommendations that may be adopted by schools, education administrators and parents have been made in chapter five. Finally, research being the only sure route to new knowledge that will help in improving drug abuse prevention, intervention and control strategies and programmes. A number of suggestions on areas that require further research have been made and can be referred to at the end of chapter five of this study report.