Kenyan Children Desperately Need Alcohol and Drug Education

by Mike Miller March 16, 2014

This is the third in a series of blogs here at addressing the frightening drug problem faced by parents in the African nation of Kenya. In the previous blogs we discussed the fact that it is estimated that one-third of all Kenyan students use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

It is quite a battle faced by Kenyan parents. Not only are drugs easily available, but they are also very inexpensive. For instance for the price of a loaf of bread, a student can get two glasses of chang’aa. Chang'aa is an alcoholic drink which is popular in Kenya. Distilled from grains like millet, maize and sorghum, it is very potent. Its production and distribution is controlled in many cases by criminal gangs. As reported in

For the same amount they can buy two rolls of bhang (cannabis). For just a bit more a hit of poor quality cocaine is easily purchased.

Despite the recognition of devastating effects of drugs and alcohol on students, many schools have not instituted measures to prevent the onset of alcohol and drug consumption. Consumption takes place right on school grounds.

Students have devised many sophisticated ways to smuggle drugs into schools, concealing alcohol and drugs in drinks, powdered milk and even detergents. Some students mix alcohol in bottled juices. Some drugs even pass as sweets or chewing gum, some are put in the back side of the actual toothpaste and the tube carefully sealed back into its normal shape and in sanitary towels. Some students go as far as creating a hole in bar soaps and hiding the drugs in there.

They are introduced to drugs and alcohol through many ways including peer pressure, the desire to experiment, cheap and accessible drugs and alcohol, the environment both at home and school, poor role models from parents among other factors.

Kenyan officials say school staff also are to blame. Highly addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine also make their way past school authorities to the students via school staff.

This is a problem that parents need to tackle ahead on. With no online alcohol classes or online drug classes currently available in Kenya, I would like to see the government set up a task for to get parental involvement. What do you think?

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