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A Proposal on a Ways to Deal Drugs and Substance Abuse

By

Wilberforce Opanga

Kabarak University

2010

Declaration
I declare that this proposal is my original work to the best of my knowledge and has never presented by anybody for any kind of award. Name: Wilberforce I. Opanga Signature: _______________________________ Date: ___________________________________

Abstract
Drugs and substance abuse has been a major problem in the society, not only in Kenya but also in the rest of the world. This has been brought about by peer pressure, lack of proper information on the negative effects on drugs and substance abuse and ignorance among those who get themselves indulged in this vice. Also in one way or the other poverty has contributed to this. This proposal is expected to provide an effective method that will help reduce the menace by a very big margin, thus providing a long lasting solution to the phenomenon, hence saving future generations.

Table of contents
Declaration and approval Abstract Chapter One: Introduction 1.1 Background Information 1.2 Statement of the problem 1.3 Objectives of the proposal 1.4 Hypothesis 1.5 Significance of this proposal 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the proposal 1.7 Definition of terms 1.7.1 What is a Drug? 1.7.2 What is drug abuse? 1.7.3 What is substance? 1.7.4 What is substance abuse? Chapter two: Literature review Chapter three: Drugs and substance abuse 3.1 Some of the drugs and substances that are abused 3.2 Why do people end up abusing drugs and substance? 3.3 Implications of drug and substance abuse 3.4 Percentage of people that is abusing drugs and substance Chapter Four: Mechanisms in place to tackle this issue 4.1 Actions taken by government and other concerned authorities to curb this Menes 4.2 Achievements 4.3 Failures Chapter 5: My Recommendation Conclusion Reference list

Chapter One: Introduction


1.1 Background Information
Given the harmful effects of drugs and substances in the destruction of lives, families and communities, I felt there is a need to find a common ground in the mission towards making Kenya a drug/substances abuse free country. I realized that for us to tackling this problem, there needs to be an effective networking of all interested parties, from a multisector and multi-disciplinary approach, involving all relevant organizations and institutions.

1.2 Statement of the problem


An analysis of information from the Mass Media, books, medical journals and the internet has revealed that the percentage of people abusing drugs is very high, many cases of people who have died because of the vice has been recorded over the past years.

1.3 Objectives of the proposal


(a) To propose a method that will help in reducing the cases of drugs and substance abuse, and also help in raising a generation that is free from drugs hence realizing the dream of having a drug free society. (b) To propose the introduction of an examinable curriculum in primary schools; a curriculum that will be based on the issue of drug abuse and their negative effects.

1.4 Hypothesis
Lack of information has led many people into indulging themselves in this vice which has been seen to bring about very many negative impacts to the society.

1.5 Significance of this proposal


It is expected that this proposal will establish a very good foundation on which the issue of drug abuse will be addressed effectively hence help in rising a generation that is safe from the temptations of indulging in drug abuse.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the proposal


This proposal will be limited to primary schools where small children are been prepared for latter stages in life, of course this issue affects the youths but before someone becomes a youth, he or she has to be a child and thats why this proposal revolves around children.

1.7 Definition of terms

1.7.1 What is a Drug?


i) According to the oxford dictionary of biology, it is defined as any chemical substance that alters the physiological state of living organisms. Drugs are widely used in medicine for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. ii) The American Heritage Dictionary presents two distinct definitions for this term. First, it is a chemical substance, especially one prescribed by a medical provider that is used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or disease. The second definition references the street use of substances, A chemical substance such as a narcotic or a hallucinogen that affects the central nervous system and is used recreationally for perceived desirable effects on personality, perception, or behavior.

1.7.2 What is drug abuse?


Medline's medical encyclopedia defines drug abuse as "the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are indicated or in a manner or in quantities other than directed."

1.7.3 What is substance?


It a blanket term which includes drug abuse and other things that are being abused.

1.7.4 What is substance abuse?


Substance abuse can simply be defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. Illegal drugs are not the only substances that can be abused. Alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medications, inhalants and solvents, and even coffee and cigarettes just to mention but a few, can all be used to harmful excess. Theoretically, almost any substance can be abused.

Chapter two: Literature review


In order to come up with this proposal I visited various sites that contain information about drug abuse, their consequences, types of drugs and substances that are been abused and their effects. I also visited sites which have articles based on ways of dealing with cases of drug and substance abuse and the mechanisms that have been put in place by the concerned authorities to combat this menace.

Chapter three: Drugs and substance abuse


3.1 Some of the drugs and substances that are abused

Alcohol Tobacco Cannabis (bhang) Khat (miraa) Stimulants: these are drugs that produce a temporary feeling of euphoria, alertness,
power, and energy e.g. cocaine Hallucinogens: these are drugs that distort a persons view of reality

Inhalants/Solvents, petrol, glue, paint thinners etc. Prescription and non-prescription drugs
Sedatives sometimes called tranquilizers

3.2 Why do people end up abusing drugs and substance?

Some people are looking for an easy way to escape stress at home, school, or elsewhere. Others hope that alcohol or drugs will help them fit in or make them seem older. Some may be using substances to "treat" or "self-medicate" depression or boredom. Still others are simply curious they what to see what will happen on them if they try out some drugs. family history of drugs and substance abuse using alcohol or tobacco at a young age low self-esteem poverty child abuse or neglect family stress

3.3 Implications of drug and substance abuse


Drugs and substance abuse can lead to;
Health problems e.g. liver cirrhosis for alcoholics Social problems e.g. break up of marriages. Unprotected sex which contributes highly to increase in HIV/AIDS infections Violence brought about when people who are high on drugs misunderstand with each others or even innocent people. Deaths which can be brought about by poisoning due to overdose, accidents and destruction of vital body parts e.g. liver and heart. Suicide- drugs can cause physiological distortion of brain chemistry as well as the social isolation hence increasing chances of suicidal thoughts Drugs such as tobacco lead to long-term health risks which include cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and stroke. Some drugs cause memory problems Long jail terms for those caught abusing illegal drugs Violence

3.4 Percentage of people that is abusing drugs and

substance
From the study conducted by NACADA in 2007, results suggest that majority of Kenyans hold positive attitudes towards consumption of licit drugs as follows: Cigarettes (73%) Packaged liquor (72%) Traditional brew (69%) Other tobacco products (68%) Miraa (54%). Clearly, there is a widespread attitude that if a drug is legal, it is alright to use. In contrast, illicit drugs have particularly low acceptability rating. At least 13 percent of people from all provinces in Kenya except North Eastern province are current consumers of alcohol. The median age of first use of changaa and cigarettes is 9 years and by age ten, half of them have tried chewing/sniffing tobacco, traditional liquor and, miraa. The median age of use of packaged alcohol is 11 years while that of bhang is 14 years. Overwhelming majority of tobacco smokers smoke every day (90%), while slightly over 70 percent of miraa users and people who sniff or chew tobacco products use the substances daily. Analyses suggest that friends (peers), availability of drugs within the school environment (including the surrounding community), and presence of a drug user in the home are closely associated with the likelihood of having ever consumed alcohol among children aged 10-14 years. Close to 90 percent of all heron/cocaine users reported that they have diverted resources in order to buy the drugs while 44 percent of bhang users have done so in the 12 months preceding the survey. Close to 40 percent of tobacco and alcohol users too have diverted resources meant for domestic use to buying these drugs. Seven in every 10 people aged 15-64 with multiple partners are likely to be

substance abusers. Users of bhang, heroin and cocaine are more likely to have multiple partners compared to users of alcohol, tobacco and Miraa. Statistics show more than 60 per cent of the adult population in every province abuse alcohol and tobacco. Nairobi, Western, Rift Valley, Nyanza and Central provinces lead in consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Meanwhile, nearly 40 per cent of adults in every province abuse bhang. The worst affected provinces include Nairobi, Western, Coast, Eastern and Nyanza. Miraa chewing, on the other hand, is prevalent in Eastern, North Eastern, Coast and Central provinces, where 70-80 per cent of adults are involved. Worldwide, the UN estimates there are more than 50 million regular users of heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs. From the above statistics we can see that the numbers are very high and thus something needs to be done before things grow from bad to worse.

Chapter Four: Mechanisms in place to tackle this issue


4.1 Actions taken by government and other concerned

authorities to curb this Menes


Coordination of activities of individuals and organizations relevant to the campaign against drug abuse. Initiation of public education campaign against drug abuse. Development of action plans to curb drug abuse among the youth and general citizenry. Development of action plans to curb drug abuse in schools and other institutions of learning. Sensitize the parents on the abuse of drugs and the effects and their functions as role models. Initiation of treatment and rehabilitation programs to counter addiction. Reaching out for the youth through educational institutions, religious institutions and social institutions Establishment of links between the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and NACADA to collaborate with Kenya Institute of Education to develop life skills packages for the youth including training manuals.

4.2 Achievements
I must admit that through sensitization, the government and other concerned organizations have been able to enlighten many people especially the youths who are among the most affected group. Many have been able to stop abusing the drugs while those who havent started indulging themselves in this vice have been empowered to say NO since they know the implications.

4.3 Failures
Most attention is being focused on the youth and hence despite all the measures that are being taken by the government and the concerned authorities, many people still end up abusing the drugs. Not much has been achieved; statistics of people who abuse the drugs are still very high. Studies show that quite a good number of drug and substance abusers start at a very young age, nothing much has been done on that and thus still leaving a very big loop hole with needs to be dealt with if the vision of having a drug free Kenya is to be realized. This calls for a better method of dealing with this scourge which affects the entire society, a method that will not only focus on the youths but also the small children. The measures in place put a lot of emphasis on youths and care little about the children.

Chapter 5: My Recommendation
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, you spend less on prevention than on cure. Also many complications are usually prevented when you deal with the situation when it is still small. I have great faith that the method I am proposing would help in resolve this issue that has affected the society at large. This is the introduction of a curriculum at pre-unit and primary school level, a curriculum which is based on the negative implications of drug and substance abuse. This curriculum should teach about the types of drugs that are being abused, their negative effects and how to avoid them, the curriculum should also address the issue of peer pressure and temptations. The children should be taught how to escape from peer pressure and temptations. By teaching this curriculum we will be raising up children who are well informed and are able to counter attack any temptations. It is usually easy for someone to learn and keep things when they are still small this is because their brains are developing and therefore tends to keep all they learn at childhood and remember them for the rest of their lives. Like for example alphabets and numbers. These are things that we learn at a very early stage in our life but we remember them till our last day on earth. If you compare the things that are learnt at childhood and those that are learnt at adulthood, you will find out that those learnt at childhood are easily remembered unlike those that are learnt at adulthood this is because at child hood, the brain is still fresh and therefore anything that is introduced to it usually sticks unlike when someone has already grown up. Another advantage of teaching this curriculum is that children always fear what they are warned against, if you tell them that drug abuse is bad they will live knowing that it is bad and therefore they will shun from the vice. The curriculum should: i) Warn children against peer influence which is one of the major path through which many find themselves in drug abuse. ii) The curriculum should seek to enlighten the children on the importance of making right independent judgment when faced with the temptation of indulging themselves in the vice. iii) Teach about the risks involved and the consequences such as infection of HIV/AIDS, breaking of families, loss of lives, destruction of the brains and many other consequences.

Since it is taught to small children, the curriculum should be made simple and exiting so as not to confuse children. It should also be appealing so that many if not all children make it their favorite subject. The subject under that curriculum should be made compulsory and examinable so as to make sure that it is treated with seriousness; parents/guardians should also be involved in this project because teachers alone cannot make it, parents/guardians should play the role of encouraging their children to take the subject seriously, they should emphasis on it just like Mathematics and English. Simple illustrations and examples should be designed so as to make the subject easy to understand. I belive that by using this method, the younger generations and the generations to come will be saved from this scourge which has affected not only our country but also other countries in the world. . In combinations with the mechanisms that have been put in place, I expect this to be a big time success in the efforts of eradicating drug and substance abuse.

Conclusion
If the above recommendation and other mechanisms in place are used together, I believe a long lasting solution to the problem of drug abuse will be found. And the vision of having a drug free Kenya will be realized.

Reference list
Oxford dictionary of biology 5th edition by oxford university press New York published in 2004 An interview conducted to Mr. Kaguthi on War on drugs. [online] Available at: < http://www.caviafrica.org/kaguthi.htm > [Accessed 15 October 2010]. Drug. [online] Available at: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug> [Accessed 15 October 2010]. What is a Drug. [online] Available at: <http://bipolar.about.com/od/medications/a/drug_terms.htm > [Accessed 16 October 2010]. What is a drug. [online] Available at: <http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/WhoAmI/FindOutMore/Yourbrain/Howdodrugsaffe ctyourbrain/Whatisadrug.aspx> [Accessed 16 October 2010]. What is substance abuse. [online] Available at: < http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/drugs/a/aa030425a.htm>[Accessed 16 October 2010]. Substance abuse. [online] Available at: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substance_abuse> [Accessed 16 October 2010].
Substance Abuse Overview. [online] Available at: <

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm> [Accessed 23 October 2010]. Substance abuse. [online] Available at: < http://www.who.int/topics/substance_abuse/en/> [Accessed 23 October 2010]. What is substance abuse? [online] Available at: <http://www.enotalone.com/article/6889.html> [Accessed 23 October 2010]. Human Diseases and Conditions: substance abuse. [online] Available at: < http://www.humanillnesses.com/Behavioral-Health-Sel-Vi/SubstanceAbuse.html > [Accessed 23 October 2010]. Rapid situation assessment of drug and substance abuse in kenya,2007. [online] Available at :< http://www.nacada.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/rapidassessment-web.pdf > [Accessed 23 October 2010].