Factors influencing drug abuse among students in public secondary schools in Mombasa District, Mombasa County, Kenya
The purpose of this study is to investigate factors influencing drug abuse among students in public secondary school in Mombasa District. The study was guided by the following objectives, influence of peer pressure on drug abuse among student in public secondary schools, influence of availability of drugs on drug abuse among students, how mass media contributes to drug abuse among students, how family conflicts contributes to drug abuse among students in public secondary school and the role of guidance and counseling in controlling drug abuse among students in public secondary schools in Mombasa. The study is based on the social Learning Theory- advanced by Albert Bandura (1977), which states that adolescence acquire their beliefs about antisocial behaviors from their role models, especially close friends or (peer groups) parents and relatives. The role models may influence students directly or indirectly and positively or negatively. The theory assumes that substance specific cognition is the strongest predictor of the students early substance use. The study utilized descriptive survey design. The target population of this study was 1800 students, 330 teachers and 13 head teachers; the target group was form 3 and 4 students. Simple random sampling was employed to select 10 schools out of 13 schools in Mombasa District to participate in the study. The study sample comprised of 10 head teachers, 99 teachers and 180 students from 10 secondary schools in Mombasa District .The study used questionnaires for data collection. The following are the findings; students were greatly influenced by peer pressure to abuse drugs and other related substances. The study also noted that a very small percentage of students were abusing drugs as individual. Secondly, the responses showed that, drugs are easily available within the school environment and that mass media play a major role in influencing students to abuse drugs. Thirdly, the study established that, family conflict lead to divorce and separation hence affecting the family and children stability. This therefore, may encourage children to engage into drug and substance abuse as a result of frustration and desperation. Further the study showed that, students from unstable family background are more likely to abuse drugs as compared to those from stable family backgrounds. In addition the study indicated that, effective guidance and counseling, aggressive anti- drug campaigns and regular drug awareness in most schools was lacking. The study also implied that, guidance and counseling may prevent drug abuse in schools to a certain extend if well utilized in the schools by the professionists and school administration. The following conclusion were arrived at, firstly, the students had adequate knowledge on certain issues in drugs and substance abuse. Secondly, the study revealed that there were measures put in place in the schools to curb drugs and substance abuse which included guidance and counseling, drug awareness campaigns and punishment. The most popularly measures used are guidance and counseling, punishment and (suspension).The recommendations of the study are as follows, instead of punishment for those students found abusing drugs in school, they should be counseled. They also felt that guidance and counseling departments should be strengthened with counselors equipped with knowledge and skills to handle students with drug problems. In addition, the responded also suggested that, school administrators should make arrangements to have forum to educate the parents, teachers, students and school community on how to curb drug abuse. Lastly, they recommendation that, the government should give support to schools by declaring drug and substance abuse illegal business and put into place strict penalties of those involved in the abuse.