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Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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PATTERNS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG KENYAN STREET CHILDREN

C. J. Othieno, A. A. Obondo

Abstract


A sample of 50 (36 male and 14 female) street children currently in a remand home at Kabete in Nairobi, Kenya, were interviewed using a predesigned questionnaire in order to estimate prevalence rates for use of selected substances. The lifetime prevalence rates of the drugs most commonly used were volatile hydrocarbons 42%, tobacco 32%, alcohol 14%, cannabis 14% and Khat (catha edulis) 12%. Ten percent were habitual users of tobacco while 4% were regular users of cannabis or khat. The prevalence for use of hard drugs was low, cocaine 4 (8%) and Mandrax (methaqualone) 1 (2%). These findings are similar to those from Cameroon where solvent use was found mainly among street children.


(Southern Af. J. of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2000, 12(2): 145-150)



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