Thursday, 16 August 2012

Drugs and substance abuse prevention: Contact NACADA Authority Kenya Counselors free on tel 1192

Drugs and substance abuse is widespread Globally and it interferes with brain development of the young people.Therefore sensitization on drugs and substance abuse among the young people need special emphasis  in order to rescue and save our future today. Early detection of drugs and substance abuse is vital for prevention and rehabilitation of the youth. According to NACADA (National Campaign against Drugs Abuse) authority Kenya, 75% of Kenyan population is made up of young people below 30 years.33% of the population consists of young people15-30 years.56% of criminals are youth  aged 24-25 years. The youth currently make up 33% of the Kenyans infected with HIV/AIDS. Young women 15-24 years are three times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS than men of the same age. Among students research shows that 75% have tried alcohol at least once. Majority of the young people fall into these social vices during adolescent which is a period of rapid change and critical decision making in relation to:-

  • Self identity: autonomy, independence, esteem and image
  • Sexual identity : boy girl relationship
  • Vocational identity: Career choice
When the youth were asked what led them to start this practices some of the answers were curiosity, to fit in, rebellion etc.

Stages of drugs and substance abuse
  1. Experiential stage: This is when the youth are experimenting or trying
  2. Social stage: the young people are seen with strange friends
  3. Instrumental stage:The youth can remember the previous day's activities as the mind is not yet damaged
  4. Habitual stage: the practice  becomes a habit/routene
  5. Compulsory/ addiction stage: The youth can engage in any social vice including lies, stealing, theft ,prostitution and selling housewares for money money to sustain drugs and substance abuse.

  1. Stimulants: increases activity e.g. tobacco, coccaine, miraa
  2. Depressants: decreases activity e.g. codein, diazipan
  3. Steroids: common with youth males, fosters formation of living tissues increasing muscular mass
  4. Hallucinogens: causes hallucinations or pronounced alteration of perception, state of fantasy, illusions and being lost in the world of dreams e.g. cannabis, hashish
  5. Prescription medicine e.g. codeine, morphine, valium, pethidine.   
Effects of drugs and substance abuse
    • Developmental effects: When drugs and substance abuse starts before young people attain 21 years,  brain development is retarded
    • Memory blackouts in young people
    • Sexual problems i.e. lack of appeal or promiscuity
    • Insomnia, moodiness, restlessness, hallucinations
    • dread of facing people
    • Injection marks
    •  skin rash
    • Watering eyes
This is a guide to identification of cases of drugs and substance abuse among the youth and young people. Be aware, be alert, be alive and support prevention!