Substance abuse among college youth in one of the largest transit hub in Machakos County Kenya; a cross sectional study on prevalence and associated factors

Asanyo Lily Kerubo, Musa Otieno Ngayo, Joseph Gikunju, Mohammed Karama


BACKGROUND: Substance abuse among college students is a growing problem confronting Kenya today. Substance abuse in this population predicts substance related problems in later life. This study is a buildup of limited data evaluating the cases of substance abuse and associated factors among college students situated in the environment of a major transit point for trucks along Nairobi-Mombasa highway in Machakos County Kenya. METHOD: This descriptive cross-sectional survey used Self-Administered WHO Model Core Questionnaire, Focus group discussions (FGD) and Key Informant Interviews (KII) to gather information on the use of various drugs among students in colleges within Mlolongo transit point along Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Data were analyzed using bivariate and multivariable logistic regression to determine factors associated with being prepared, with statistically significant level at p < 0.05. RESULTS: Out of the 152 college students who consented, 53.9% were female verses 46.1% males. Their mean age was 21.26 (SD 2.43) years with 46.7% of them aged between 18 to 20 years. About 42 (27.6%) students were abusing different substances. Among them 66.7% were abusing alcohol, 19% Miraa and 14% tobacco. Marital status (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.8), student’s belief (OR 0.4, 95%CI 0.12 to 0.7) emotional effect (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.55 to 5.7) and stimulation of moods (OR 4.5, 95% CI 2.1 to 10.2) influenced use of substance. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of substance use among Mlolongo college students is high. Addressing youthful factors such as demography, beliefs, and emotional needs which greatly influence substance abuse. The role of the truck transit point in the peddling, purchase and usage among the youth must be carefully evaluated.

Keywords: Substance abuse; Prevalence and associated factors; College students; largest transit hub in Machakos County Kenya


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