Drug abuse in Kisumu town western Kenya
AbstractThis was a cross sectional study designed to determine the factors associated with drug abuse among secondary school students in nine schools in Kisumu town, western Kenya. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of age, gender and peer influence on drug abuse and to establish the reasons why students abuse drugs. Nine schools were randomly selected for the study. A total of 458 students (243 males and
215 females) were interviewed using a closed ended questionnaire. The data were then categorized into non-abusers and abusers and the degree of association between the variables was tested using Chi-square test. A total of 458 students (243 males and 215 females), were interviewed using a close-ended questionnaire. The results showed that 265 (57.9%) of the respondents had consumed alcohol at least once in their lives,
159 (34.7%) had abused tobacco, 84 (18.3%) had abused cannabis, 106 (23.1%) had abused khat and 24 (5.2%) had used inhalants and/or cocaine. The age group most at risk was 16-18 years, the age at which most students are in secondary school. The reasons given for the abuse of the drugs were: experimentation 92 (38.2%), enjoyment of the feeling they experience 114 (47.3%), influence from friends 21 (8.7%),
influence from relatives 5 (2.1%) and for treating stomach ailments 7 (2.9%). More boys were found to be abusing drugs (36.9%, n = 169) compared to girls (27.3%, p = 0.007). Also, drug abuse was found to be higher in students living in low socioeconomic class areas of the town (30%, n = 122) compared to high-class areas (21.6%, n = 94, p =0.004) and peer influence had no effect on drug abuse (p = 0.249). From this study it was concluded that drug abuse was widespread in secondary
schools in Kisumu and although it affected both sexes boys were more involved in the practice than girls. The study therefore recommends that early intervention should target school attendees at early age with the aim of preventing drug abuse in secondary schools in Kisumu town, western Kenya.
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