NACADA calls for immediate action over high bhang usage by school going student in Mt. Kenya region.
The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has expressed worry over the surge in bhang use among secondary school students in the Mt. Kenya region.
This was revealed by Central region NACADA manager Amos Warui during an anti-drug campaign in Rurii Secondary School in Mwea, Kirinyaga County.
He added that bhang was the most abused drug among school-going students.
The region NACADA boss said that 3% of students drop out of school due to drug-related reasons, with cannabis being the primary cause and alcohol ranking second.
‘’We have seen this problem in the central region, and recently NACADA released a national survey and you can see that we have a big problem in the central region,’’ said the regional manager.
The anti-drug campaign is one of the many forums aimed at sensitizing school students on the harmful effects of drug and substance abuse.
‘’We are trying to urge our students, to sensitize them on needs and dangers of using drug substances,’’ added Warui.
According to the latest NACADA report on drug abuse, bhang usage in the country doubled between 2017 and 2022 with a rise estimated at 90% among youth aged between 15 to 35 years.
“Results showed that the prevalence of cannabis use almost doubled over the last five years. The growing demand for cannabis especially among the youth could be attributed to the low perception of harm due to myths, misinformation, and misconceptions;” stated NACADA in their report.
The study found that, on average, youths begin smoking cannabis between the ages of 16 and 20, with the average age of introduction to the substance being 8.
The study by NACADA also revealed that the majority of men in Kenya consume marijuana.
According to the agency, for every 1 Kenyan woman using bhang, there are 11 men who use it.
The report also showed that during the study period, one in every 53 Kenyans consumed marijuana.
The Ministry of Education was urged by NACADA to create life-skills initiatives that would educate primary and secondary school students about the advantages of abstaining from drug substances.