Drug abuse continue to be a major problem in many parts of the world, including Kenya – more so in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Observations have shown that control by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drugs Abuse (NACADA) – (the regulatory body responsible for exercising autonomous authority over drug abuse in regulatory/supervisory capacity), is not very effective.
It is considered by many that the war on drug abuse has to go beyond police swoops or blanket bans.
I know there might be hundreds of articles already written on this topic – however, the more people talk and write about the issue, the more healthy it becomes – it is awareness campaign – never ending.
The rehabilitation programs in the country will also not be effective if the supply chain remain or continue to increase. Some of the dug addicts who have gone through the rehabilitating programs are also known to go back to the habits again.
There are a number of known reasons why youths turn to drug abuse. Two primary causes are : 1. Peer pressure and 2. depression.
Youths associate with different types of people (friends) and through the pressure from these friends, they test the drugs and chances are they will continue using the drugs.
Depression come from idleness – the resulting boredom remain a major cause of youth turning to drug abuse. Unemployment is the major cause of idleness.
It is therefore imperative that a new way or tactics of dealing with menace be sought.
I believe that an effective way can be achieved through the village community participation program, where people can easily interact.
First the parents should take the lead role and take control of the youths – the youths can be contained in every house hold – if for example each household an income generating activity for the jobless youths which can sustain or supplement the family income.
Parents should try to keep away their children from bad friends.
Churches (places of worship) can do a lot in the villages to transform the youth through lecturing and counseling.
The village community can organize activities which can keep the youths occupied most of the time.
Sport fields can motivate the youths in the villages to engage in talent motivating activities.
After school activities should be emphasized in schools and the villages.
Teachers and others experienced in other professional fields should volunteer and start evening classes in the villages.
Retired veterans can also volunteer and share their valuable experiences with the youth.
This change of tactics in dealing with the drug abuse menace may not be the solution we are looking for, but it will certainly have some impact in reducing the number of youths going astray. The idea is to keep the youths occupied to eliminate idleness and boredom (depression)