An Anti Drug and Alcohol Abuse Campaign in Kenya
A recent study by a local community based organization in Kenya revealed that three out of 10 adolescents in
Nyandarua county use drugs or drink alcohol.
An Anti-Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Addiction Campaign
As a result, late last month, members of Nyandarua based CBO Areka-Daps initiated an anti drug and alcohol abuse
and addiction campaign in Nyandarua county.
This campaign has two focal points. First, to substantially reduce the drug and alcohol abuse and addiction in
the county. And second, to help adolescents learn how to avoid drug, alcohol, and substance abuse.
Dr. Michael Munene, the CBO Areka-Daps director, stated that this anti-drug and alcohol abuse campaign will help
adolescent drug and alcohol addicts get treatment and also help establish various income generating activities.
To emphasize the importance of the anti-drug and alcohol abuse and addiction campaign, Dr. Munene is also asking
President Uhuru to declare alcoholism as a national disaster.
Targeting Those Who Sell Illicit Alcoholic Beverages to Youth
As an example of an "income generator," Dr. Michael Munene has recently asked the National Assembly to
revise the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act so that those who are convicted of selling illicit alcoholic
beverages to pre-teens and teenagers will be required to pay the cost of the adolescents' rehabilitation and their
The Problem With Legal Alcoholic Beverages
Dr. Munene also stated that the alcoholic beverages that are legally sold to adults in stores contain "addictive
chemicals" that accomplishes two things.
First, it helps store owners recruit new drinkers and retain them as long-term customers. And second, it
facilitates the transition from "experimenting" with alcohol to abuse and addiction.
The Consequences of Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
The following represents some of the adverse outcomes of youth alcohol and drug abuse and addiction in Nyandarua
county from the perspective of Dr. Michael Munene.
- They contribute to the rise in poverty levels within the county
- They break up families
- They help spread HIV and Aids
- They add to the increase in criminal activities
I agree that part of the anti-drug and alcohol abuse and addiction campaign in Nyandarua county needs to focus
on those who sell illicit brews to youth.
Forcing these individuals to pay for the adolescents' alcohol treatment as well as their school fees, however,
is not only excessive, but it also unfairly places the blame for the underage drinking problem in the Nyandarua
community on those who sell illicit alcoholic beverages to pre-teens and teenagers.
Legal Alcoholic Beverages
Dr. Munene, you mentioned that the alcoholic beverages that are legal contain addictive chemicals that help
adolescents who experiment with drinking become alcohol dependent.
This obviously helps the store owners who sell alcohol recruit more young drinkers and retain them as
If this is, in fact, what is going on in Nyandarua county, why not go after the alcohol manufacturers and crack
down on the "addictive chemicals" that are added to the alcoholic beverages?
The Role of Parents and the School Administrators
Dr. Munene, you stated that it's a shame that the adolescents in Nyandarua county start drinking early in the
morning. If this is the case, where is the parental supervision of these teenagers and pre-teens?
Even if the youth in Nyandarua county have access to alcoholic beverages "early in the morning," why aren't
their parents monitoring their behavior from the moment they arise and then go to school?
Once the adolescents are at school, it's the school administrators responsibility to keep the youth safe and
away from drugs and alcohol.
The school administrators can accomplish this in one of two ways. First, the administrators can initiate a
random drug and alcohol testing program for all of the students.
And second, if this is seen as "too excessive," the school VIPs can hire a company that can bring K-9 units into
the schools on a random basis that can sniff for drugs and alcohol.
After school, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to monitor their children's behavior and activities
as well as who their children hang out with, what websites they frequently visit, and who they talk to on their
The Need For a More Comprehensive Anti Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program
According to a recent study by a local community based organization, three out of 10 adolescents in Nyandarua
county drink alcohol or use drugs.
If this information is accurate, then this further justifies the more "comprehensive" anti drug and alcohol
abuse and addiction approach that was just outlined.
To view the original source for this article, see a
more comprehensive approach is needed to tackle drug and alcohol abuse.