Bhang most abused narcotic in Kenya, 7.8 per cent of students abusing it, says NACADA

NACADA CEO Victor Okioma/ COURTESY

Bhang is the most abused narcotic in the country, and  7.8 per cent of secondary school students are abusing it, NACADA has said.

This is up from 7.5 per cent the agency reported in 2018 from its 2017 NACADA national survey.

“Nacada has been working with security agents to impound huge consignments of bhang coming from Ethiopia, which is the main source. We once got a consignment worth Sh19 million in Marsabit,” CEO Victor Okioma is quoted by the Star.

The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse boss said 12.2 percent of Kenyans are addicted to alcohol, eight per cent to tobacco, while 1 per cent is hooked on cocaine, which he said has devastating and sometimes irreversible effects.

About 10 percent of alcohol addicts have mental illnesses, with the Central region being the worst affected, closely followed by Kisii, he said.

He spoke when he toured the county government run Kambirwa Rehabilitation centre.

He has thus appealed to county governments to be on the frontline in the fight against drugs and alcoholism by limiting the accessibility of addictive substances, including limiting the operating hours for bars.

Okioma also cautioned parents against consuming alcohol in their homes, saying it sets a bad precedence for children.

In June, the agency raised concern over the prevalent consumption of alcohol in the presence of children at home. Nacada said that due to Covid-19 restrictions, some parents take alcohol at home and this exposes children drug and alcohol abuse

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