The impact of alcohol and drug abuse on persons with disabilities in Homa- bay county
There has only been one research study in Kenya focusing on the problem of alcohol and drug abuse. However, the study by NACADA (NACADA, 2013) only focused on three regions of Kenya: Nairobi, Coast and Central. The researcher, hence, chose to extend this study into Homabay County. This study is on the impact of alcohol and drug abuse among persons with disabilities in Homabay County. The study specifically focused on Asego Division. This study is important as it helps bring to light a real challenge facing persons with disabilities, thus, making it possible for significant stakeholders to intervene. The results of the study will also be instrumental in informing programmes and interventions targeted at persons with disabilities to include alcohol and drug abuse as a priority area. The study utilized stratified sampling coupled with simple random sampling to draw a 40% sample from a sampling frame of 140 persons with disabilities drawn from 6 support groups within Asego division. The stratification was based on the three disability types; hearing, visual and physical disabilities. Simple random sampling was used to draw the FGD participants from the population. 6 key informants were purposively selected. The key informants included leaders of local disability groups, an official from the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWDS), a special school teacher, the area District Social Development Officer. Data collected from the field was processed through data cleaning. The data was then categorized and coded according to themes for easier analysis. SPSS was used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data was analyzed by thematic interpretation in accordance with the main objectives of the study and thereafter presented in narrative excerpts within the report. The data was presented using pie charts, tables, graphs and percentages. The results of the study revealed that peer pressure, poverty and lack of information were the major risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse among persons with disabilities. Other risk factors include curiosity and quest for fun. PWDs are exposed to more risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse than their counterparts without disabilities. These include; stigma and the inaccessibility of information on drugs. The results of the study also showed that the main impacts of alcohol and drug abuse among persons with disabilities include breaking of families due to family violence, depletion of economic resources, and inability to support children’s education among others. Compared to people without disability, persons with disabilities may have the limitations caused by disability further worsened by the impact of ADA. This could be through acquisition of additional disabilities or increased dependency on others either for mobility or financial support. The study recommends that major awareness creation efforts on ADA should be directed towards persons with disabilities. In addition, the study recommends that persons with disabilities should be enrolled in economic empowerment programmes that will keep them busy and dissuade them from using drugs. The other main recommendation of the study is to have disability friendly and accessible rehabilitation services.