Intensify war on drug and substance abuse

Intensify war on drug and substance abuse

A drug awareness march. Accessing drugs at a tender age seriously destroys the user’s life.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The recent move by Kajiado Liquor Licensing Board chairperson Jonah Marapash is welcome. Liquor joints near schools and colleges should be closed down immediately not only in Kajiado County but in the entire nation.

Accessing drugs at a tender age seriously destroys the user’s life. It deteriorates their academic performance and generates negative behaviour among the abusers besides exposing them to costly health problems.

This fight cannot be won by Nacada and other stakeholders alone. It should be supported by the entire citizenry. National leaders, the police, NGOs and the public at large should strive to make the country drug-free.

President Kenyatta should issue a directive to reinforce the closure of bars and liquor stores near learning institutions to reduce cases of indiscipline and reinstate the trust that the future has invested in us.

Brian Ochieng, Nairobi

* * *

Psychoactive substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs) is a major challenge globally, affecting the general health, social and economic functioning of society.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on every sector, including education. A recent survey showed that children as young as four abuse drugs and alcohol. Nacada says early onset of substance use significantly affects academic outcomes.

Last week, the Education ministry released the national guidelines for alcohol and substance use prevention and management that targets learners in basic education institutions.

The guidelines seek to promote a safe and healthy environment free from substance use, and develop incident management for boards of management, staff, parents and visitors.

Although schools should record incidents for disciplinary action, let them focus on preventive strategies that provide a good basis for evidence-based interventions aimed at adopting positive behaviour. They should apply the tried and tested scientific approach and policy framework.

They should not discriminate against or stigmatise the targeted groups but rather prescribe corrective measures that would encourage them to seek help.

Substance and drug abuse is a complex problem that requires concerted efforts of stakeholders. Institutions should employ prevention programmes to mitigate alcohol and substance abuse.

Fred Sagala, Uasin Gishu

* * *

Something is terribly wrong with the state of our learners in the education institutions. Some abuse drugs, to which they were introduced by their older friends.

I, therefore, support Central Region Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga’s directive to the police to be on the lookout for long-distance trucks being used to ferry narcotics. That followed the interception of a haul of bhang hidden in a sand-ferrying truck’s spare wheels at Kenol, Murang’a County.

Geoffrey Gitau, Kiambu