Factors influencing the abuse of drugs in Kenyan secondary schools: : a case study of Mbeere district
This study was carried out to investigate the factors influencing the use and abuse of drugs in Kenyan secondary schools in Mbeere district. Due to the nature of strikes and riots in the schools that may be attributed to drug abuse, a study of this nature was necessary. This study is therefore expected to contribute information that could be useful in intervention measures that could be undertaken to prevent the use and abuse of drugs and substances in the secondary schools in the district. The researcher chose ex-post facto design whereby the researcher does not have direct control of independent variables because their manifestations have already occurred or because they are not inherently not manipulative. The research was conducted in Mbeere district whereby 49 secondary schools were used. Simple random sampling was used to select the 364 students and 205 teachers. However, all the head teachers participated in the study. Questionnaires were used for these groups of respondents. The questionnaire return rate was 100%. The data analysis techniques that were employed included use of tables and figures. Percentages and totals were also used to summarize the data while descriptive narrations were given for open-ended questions. The findings of the study were that the most commonly abused drugs in the district included alcohol, cigarettes, miraa and bhang or marijuana. Other drugs that were abused although to a lesser extent included opium, heroine and cocaine. The study also revealed that drug abuse was mainly caused by peer pressure and availability of drugs. Other factors that also contributed to drug abuse were stress, parental and societal influence. The study recommended that there needs to be a control of availability of drugs in the markets and more so around the schools. Parents should be counseled on the adverse effects of drugs. Peer counseling should be encouraged by organizing seminars and workshops. The society at large should take the responsibility of rehabilitating the drug addicts. The researcher recommended for further studies to be carried out in other districts in Kenya in order to come up with a general assessment of the whole country on the factors influencing drug use and abuse. Finally there also needs to be a study on the management of drug abuse in Kenya.