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Abuse of drugs among young people worrying



There is no doubt that drug abuse is a major problem in Kenya. Recent statistics show that more than half of Kenyans aged between 15 and 24 have used drugs at least once in their lifetime. This is a worrying trend.

There are many reasons young people turn to drugs. Some do it to escape the reality of their lives, others to fit in with their peers. Whatever the reason, this problem needs to be addressed urgently.

The most commonly abused drugs in Kenya include alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and heroin. Many young people start with alcohol and tobacco, then move on to harder drugs. These substances are easily accessible, which makes them all the more attractive to young people.

Alcohol is by far the most widely abused drug among young Kenyans. It is relatively cheap and legal. This means many in Gen Z see it as an easy way to get high. However, alcohol is a very dangerous drug and is responsible for a large number of accidents, injuries and deaths every year.

This generation is the most connected in history. Social media and the internet have made it possible for people to share details of their lifestyles. Sadly, this enables people to share bad experiences too.

Seedy nightclubs

Besides, drugs are no longer seen as something one only consumes in dark alleys or in seedy nightclubs.

Given that social media plays such a big part in their lives, young people are constantly comparing themselves to others. They see their peers taking drugs and feel the urge to follow suit to fit in.

As the world becomes more and more connected, it’s important to beware of the dangers of drug abuse. The internet and social media have made it easier than ever for young people to access drugs and the problem is only getting worse.

The consequences can be devastating. Drug addiction can lead to health problems, financial difficulties and social problems. It can also lead to crime and violence.

The best way out is to educate the youth on the dangers of drug abuse and provide them with support and resources to help them stay away from drugs. They also need to know where to get help if they or someone they know is struggling with drug abuse.

The problem may not go away soon, so there should be structured measures to deal with it. This calls for concerted efforts from parents, educators and healthcare professionals.

Generation Z is the most vulnerable when it comes to matters of drug abuse. But they are also the most resilient and resourceful generation. They have the power to change the world. So don’t give up on them. If you are a parent or guardian of a teenager, it is important to be aware of these risks and to talk to your child about drug abuse.

Mr Okwisia is a student at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.

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