A report released on Wednesday by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has revealed that pupils in Nyanza region abuse drugs the most.
The study revealed that 14 percent of pupils in Nyanza are on Tobacco with Kisii taking the lead with 8 percent followed by Kisumu at 6.9 percent.
In addition, the report says 6 percent of the pupils from Kisii are on alcohol. This brings the number of pupils taking drugs in Nyanza region to 20.9 percent.
Dubbed Status of Drugs and Substance Abuse among Primary School Pupils in Kenya 2019, the study covered 3307 pupils from 177 primary schools across 25 counties in the country.
The survey, which was done by NACADA, found out that countrywide 17 percent of pupils in primary schools are using a drug or substance.
Top on the list was prescription drugs (7.2%), followed by tobacco (3.2%), alcohol (2.6%), miraa (2.3), inhalants (1.2), and heroin (1.2%).
The study revealed that most pupils get access to drugs during school holidays, on their way home from school, during weekends and during inter-school competitions.
The pupils access the drugs from kiosks, shops, bars near schools, friends, matatu touts, peddlers, chemists and school workers.
Some of the risk factors are having a parent(s) or friend who take drugs or substances. Another predisposing factor is if the student accompanies their parent to an event where alcohol or other drugs are being served.
Nacada has therefore called on concerted efforts to regulate drug abuse in schools.
They include “enforcement of guidelines on establishment of business premises and bars near schools; ban on sale of cigarettes in single sticks and sensitization of parents on the risks of keeping drugs at home or being accompanied by children to drug consumption facilities,” the report suggests.