The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has raised concerns over usage of bhang among secondary school students within the Mt Kenya region, which the authority said is on the rise.
Central region NACADA manager Amos Warui during an anti-drug campaign in Rurii Secondary School in Mwea, Kirinyaga County said that bhang was the most abused drug among school-going students.
He also pointed out that 3 percent 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.
An image of cannabis
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 report also reported that on average, most teens start using cannabis between 16 years and 20 years with the earliest introduction to the drug being 8 years.
The report further highlighted that most men in Kenya use bhang. According to the agency, for every 1 Kenyan woman using bhang, there are 11 men who use it.
The report also revealed that one in every 53 Kenyans used bhang during the period under review/
NACADA also called on the Ministry of Education to implement life-skills programs to sensitize primary and secondary school students on the benefits of abstaining from harmful drugs.
NACADA officials during The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADA) on June 27, 2023