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Title: Egerton University Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy
Authors: Egerton University
Keywords: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy
Issue Date: May-2013
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Drug use is not new in human history. Humans have been using alcohol and plant derived drugs for thousands of years since the appearance of HomoSapiens on the planet earth. Alcohol and drugs were used for their presumed therapeutic (healing) effects. Some people have always over used, misused and abused these substances. Adrug is any chemical substance which when taken into the body will alter the way the body functions from its normal state to abnormal. Drug abuse refers to the use of illegal drugs or the inappropriate use of drugs which affects the body and causes abnormal functioning. Similar to drug abuse problems in society, alcohol use and alcohol related problems are widely experienced virtually in all societies of the world. Alcohol use is associated with thousands of traffic fatalities, and has been correlated with homicides, assault, family violence and suicide. The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs by the youth and young adults is viewed as a way of coping with problems, anxieties and the uncertainties of growing up and effective living in modern society. Personality, genetic factors, as well as environmental influences are signified determinants of alcohol and drug abuse. In Kenya today, both in the urban and rural settings, alcohol and drug abuse is rampant and on the rise. The use of these substances, especially among the youth and young adults has resulted in increases in criminal acts, family violence, health damage, risky sexual behavior and other risky social behaviors. Discipline problems in schools and institutional disturbances and unrest are some of the consequences of drug abuse by students. According to study findings, cannabis sativa (bhang) is the most abused drug in Kenya, followed by heroin, khat, cocaine, benzodiazenes, inhalants and amphetamines. A report by UNODC (2010) indicated that the number of people using amphetamine-type stimulants (estimated at around 30-40 Million) is likely to exceed the number of opiate and cocaine users combined. There is also evidence of increasing abuse of prescription drugs meant for disease treatment, which are turned into psychoactive drug abuse. The report reveals that Canabis Sativa (Bhang) remains the most widely produced and used illicit drug, which is grown in almost all countries of the world (Including indoor cultivation) and is consumed by more than 190 million people globally. In Kenya, Schools, Colleges and Universities have become targets of drug sale and consumption. Drug dealers surrounding learning institutions target students who are easily recruited and involved in drug use. Abaseline Survey (NACADA2004) on drug and substance abuse targeting 10-24 years old youth established that the trend of drug and substance abuse was on the increase. The report revealed the most abused substances as: alcohol, tobacco, miraa (khat), bhang, inhalants and prescription drugs like valium. The extent and trend of alcohol and drug abuse among Kenyan youth poses great danger to their health and development and ultimately a potentially dangerous threat to social and economic well being of the nation.
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