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County is among tops in Drugs abuse 

Kisii is among the leading counties in Kenya with significant bhang and alcohol consumption, Nyanza regional boss for National Campaign against Drug Abuse Authority (NACADA), Esther Okanyie has said.

Addressing the media during a youth campaign against drug abuse, and peace building in a Kisii hotel, Okanye said consumption of drugs had affected many youth in the area.

Consequently, NACADA had gathered 250 youth from Kitutu Chache South in the county to discuss ways of assisting them deal with challenges associated with the vice.

“NACADA is targeting the youth in this region to help make them useful members of the community just like in other areas,” said Okanye.

Noting that prevention is better than cure, Okanye said NACADA was piloting a preventive programme in Kisumu and Kakamega before it is rolled out to other areas.

This programme she said will help move from assisting those already affected to preventing people from engaging in drugs of addiction.

She urged parents to take responsibility of their children during the long holiday season, and to allow the larger communities to instill life values to them including spiritual nourishment as is offered in churches.

County Commissioner Godfrey Kirochi said the move by NACDA was welcome where administration had severally fought chang’aa brew menace through pouring and arresting culprits.

He called for concerted effort in eradicating the vice saying it will help make good leaders for tomorrow.

One youth, Asha Ali termed chang’aa as one of the major drugs consumed by youths in her locality.

She attributed the problem to idleness by local youth who have completed schooling and not found jobs to engage them.

However, another youth David Mwebi from Mauti village castigated the youth for waiting for white color jobs and using lack of it as a gimmick to get into crime.

Mwebi urged his counterparts to find menial jobs or self-employment to earn a living instead of engaging in self-destruction through drugs and crime.

James Jamo urged other youth to avoid bad company if they want to stop abusing drugs.

In its support for attainment of Kenya’s Vision 2030 NACADA recognizes the dangers that alcohol and drug abuse poses in society.

It therefore undertakes various flagship projects as part of its performance contract targets each financial year to mitigate the negative effects of drug abuse and ultimately contribute to the well-being of the society which in part will lead towards attaining Kenya’s Vision 2030.

According to World Health Organization 2.5 million people succumb to illness and injury annually due to harmful alcohol use.

The WHO also says alcohol is increasingly affecting younger generations in developing countries like Kenya among others.

In a 2011 report, NACADA says alcohol and drug abuse are the major social problems in Kenya, with serious public health ramifications.

NACADA estimates that half of all alcohol and drug abusers in Kenya are below 20 years old.

By Jane Naitore and Jared Nyabuti

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