SEE STUDY ON DRUG ADDICTION IN MOMBASA, RESEARCH BY THE UON

The problem of drug abuse in coast Province is growing at an alarming rate, the lack of reliable statistics to reveal the scope and magnitude of drug abuse has left many institutions guessing and speculating on the seriousness of the problem. The key purpose of this study was to establish the factors influencing drug abuse among the youth in Mombasa County. The study was seeking to establish the influence of peer pressure, family history, availability of drugs and the cost of drugs on drug abuse among the youth in Mombasa County. The commonly consumed drug both legal and illicit in Kenya include cannabis, cocaine, heroin, khat, tobacco and alcohol. A review of related literature was done which focused on khat, cannabis and heroin. The ease of access and availability of cannabis among community members is a contributing factor to its greater use. while the fact that production and consumption of khat is legal it’s use has been consistently on the increase worldwide. Peer pressure and curiosity has made heroin a drug of choice to most youth worldwide. Descriptive survey design was employed to this study which entailed the use of questionnaires, key informant interview schedules and review of existing literature as the data collection instruments. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in analyzing the collected data. Data collected was scrutinized, coded and analyzed using a Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) version 17.0. The study revealed that majority of drug users start to use at their youthful age between 15 to 30 years of age and a significant proportion of the users start using at old age. Although male users form the majority the females are not left out. The study also revealed that Tobacco and Cannabis are the major drugs that most users started with, however, heroin was found to be the most favorable drug to most users. The study further revealed that, Peer pressure and curiosity greatly influences drug use among the youth. In addition to this, availability of drugs and cost plays a major role during inception. The researcher recommended several ways to address the concern of drug abuse among the youth. The parents and the community in general should take an active role than being spectators by forming drug competence committees for effective collective action towards a drug free society. Issues on drug abuse and prevention should be greatly emphasized in both programs and curriculum undertaken by NGO’s and learning institutions. The government on the other hand should focus more on strengthening the existing policies and regulations regarding matters of both legal and illicit drugs.

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