The causes of drug use among secondary school students in Kenya : a case study of secondary schools in Nairobi province
Wanyama, Everlyne N
MetadataShow full item record
The problem of drug use has been a cause of concern among educationists, government administrators, church leaders and students in Kenya because it is affecting many youths. Some of the factors associated with increasing incidence of drug use include weak legislation and enforcement, frustration and boredom, lack of jobs, bad family environment, affluence vis a vis poverty, homelessness and easy access to drugs. This study set out to investigate this problem based on the hypotheses that: the level of knowledge concerning the negative effects of drug; the level of parental supervision over children; academic stress and student educational aspiration contribute to drug use among students in Kenyan secondary schools. The study used quantitative as well as qualitative methodologies to collect primary data. The study reviewed extensive literature on the theories of deviance and factors associated with drug use. The following theories were utilised to investigate the problem of drug use in schools: Emile Durkheim,s Social Structure And Anomie Theory (1893); Culture Conflict Theory by Thorsten Sellin (1930); The Differential Association Theory by Edwin H. Sutherland (1970) and Availability Proneness Theory by Reginald G. Smart (1980). The findings indicated that the age of the student, class and the school being attended are significantly related to drug use by students; that drug use was more prevalent among form three students than form two and four students; that student level of awareness of the negative effects of drugs; the level of parental supervision and academic stress were significantly related to drug use. The findings further indicated that drug use was a serious problem in secondary schools in Nairobi with female students getting more involved in the vice. The main sources of drugs were fellow students, slums near the school, touts and street boys. The study therefore recommends that urgent and deliberate measures be put in place by the government, the school administrators, religious leaders, civil society organizations,and parents to raise the level of awareness on the effects of drugs among students and society in general. The schools administrators need to ensure high discipline among students and other members of the school community and avoid over- working students with class work since too much work predisposed students to use drugs. Families and churches should also be encouraged to intensify their efforts of imparting moral values as well as discussing the issue of drugs with the youth to increase the awareness level. The government should strengthen drug legislation and enforcement in the country to address the issues of drug trafficking, peddling and use. Rehabilitation centers should be set up in every district to enable those already affected get medical assistance. The government should declare drug use a national disaster so as to Marshall the financial and human resources towards addressing this problem. School administrators in conjunction with local administrators should carry out close surveillance in school neighborhoods to prevent drug peddlers from selling drugs to students.