Children as young as four are using alcohol and other substances, a recent report by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) reveals.
The report, already in Parliament, blames the exposure of children to liquor and drugs to poor parenting.
More disturbing is the reality that primary and secondary school children can simply get drugs, contributing to riots and other unlawful conduct.
The report reveals that the number of children abusing drugs in school is presumably higher, given that cases are under-reported.
It states that children whose guardians or parents use alcohol or drugs or are more prone to become users themselves.
“This data reveals an overwhelming knock-on effect of parental use and exposure of their children to drug and substance abuse,” the report, signed by Nacada chief executive Victor Okioma, says.
The government is currently pushing for amendments to the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act to inflict a punitory penalty on traffickers.
The bill bu Nacada wants traffickers to be given life imprisonment and be fined up to KSh50 million. It also targets the police who conspire with traffickers to win the cause of justice.
The manufacturers of substances used as raw material for the drugs won’t be spared either as Nacada will continuously train data officers to improve on reporting.
According to Maendeleo ya Wanaume Organisation (Mawe) survey that was conducted between July and August 2020, 3 out of 10 high school students in Meru County are most likely to drop out of school to work in the lucrative miraa business at the cost of learning.
The National government has been blamed for not enacting stringent policies to regulate the Miraa business and to prevent abuse by learners. It emerged that from the age of 12 years, the Meru Country teenagers abuse miraa.
In Taita Taveta Country, the survey found out that almost 15% of minor boys engage in homosexuality, drug abuse alcohol and trafficking. According to the survey, Taita-Taveta has a high number of drug abusers and traffickers. Three of 10 underage boys found to be affected by this lifestyle.