Assessing Substance Abuse Among Secondary School Students in Kendu Zone, Homabay County, Kenya

Rugendo .M. Morris


Substance abuse has reached an alarming level globally especially among young people. Statistics available in Kenya indicate that there is an upward trend in substance abuse among young people including students attending secondary schools. Substance abuse has led to increased crime rates in schools, high incidences of school drop-out and increase in poor health indicators among students. The main aim of this study was to assess use and patterns of substance abuse among secondary school students in Kendu zone. It was a school based descriptive cross-sectional study involving a total number of 257 students. The study employed cluster random sampling technique where three schools were selected through simple random technique and the level of students in terms of which form a student was used as clusters for this study. Simple random was then used to select students to participate from each cluster. Data collection was done through use of self-administered, semi structured questionnaire. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 17.0 and data presented in form of pie charts, bar graphs, and frequency tables. From the findings of the study it was found that male students engaged in substance abuse more than there female counterparts. The study also found out that alcohol was the most abused substance at 42.3% followed by cigarette at 22.4%, miraa 16%, bhang and cocaine at 12.1% and 2% respectively with majority of the students reporting that they engaged in substance abuse mainly on weekends, during academic trips and during holidays. Substance abuse especially among young people is a multi-factorial problem that requires collaborative approach to curb it. School administrators, parents and community at large should work together to address this menace. This collaborative approach may provide an opportunity to develop effective prevention strategies on substance abuse especially among secondary school students.

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