AN INVESTIGATION OF THE FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG THE YOUTH IN KENYA: A SURVEY OF SELECT REHABILITATION CENTRES IN MOMBASA COUNTY

CHEGE Rose, MUNGAI Peter, ORESI Samwel

Abstract


Substance abuse continues to be one of the most serious problems facing communities throughout the world. In Kenya, drug abuse is one of the major social problems with common and easily identifiable manifestations in public health. Drug abuse reduction necessitates the use of strategies that are focused at tackling the risk factors. The purpose of the study was to investigate on the causes of drug and substance abuse among the youth in Kenya with a survey of Mombasa County. The study also sought to establish how education standards/levels, government policy, culture, mass media and cost of drugs influence usage on drugs and substance abuse among the youth in Mombasa County. The target population was 298 youth in rehabilitation centers, counselors in rehabilitation centers and government administrators in Mombasa County. This study used a stratified random sampling to select 30% of the target population. The sample size of this study was 89 participants who included 66 youths in rehabilitation centers, 3 counselors and 11 government administrators. Questionnaires comprised of both the open ended and closed ended questions. Quantitative data was analysed by use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. In addition, descriptive and inferential statistics was used in this study. Descriptive statistics such as percentages, frequencies, mean and standard deviation were used. Data was presented in graphs and tables. Further, a multiple regression analysis was used to establish the relationship between the dependent and the independent variables. The study established that mass media influences drug and substance abuse among the youth in Mombasa County most followed by education standards/level, culture and cost of drugs. However education standards/levels and cost of drugs had an inverse influence on drugs and substance abuse among the youth and culture and mass media had a positive influence on drugs and substance abuse among the youth in Kenya. This study therefore recommends that education standards should be enhanced through cooperation between the government and the NGOs to ensure that many people acquire basic education in the area. Further, the government should come up with programs highlighting the adverse effects of drug use. In addition, the study recommends that local communities should be made aware of the adverse effects of their norms and culture especially when their youths end up engaging in drug use.

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