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High cost of rehabilitation services hampering fight against alcoholism

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Many families of people addicted to alcoholism and drugs cannot afford the cost of treatment and rehabilitation services.

A counselor who is also a Police sergeant Moses Kimenchu says that a three-month rehabilitation period costs more than Ksh 300, 000, which many affected people find hard to get.

Kimenchu who is also the Director of Sergeant Savior Mentorship, Counseling and Empowerment Centre regretted that in Kenya, there were only three public rehabilitation centres which were not enough to support those addicted to alcoholism and drug abuse.

He said the government in partnership with other stakeholders could put up rehabilitation centres and provide cheaper services observing that private centres usually charged exorbitant prices on treatment and rehabilitation of drug and substance addicts.

Kemenchu who has been championing counseling and mentorship of those addicted further underscored the need to sensitize especially young people from indulging in alcohol and drug abuse.

In central Kenya, he noted, a NACADA research done in 2015 indicated that 16 percent of teenagers between 12 to 25 years have tasted alcoholic drinks.

“School going children have also been exposed to alcoholism and abuse of drugs. Sensitization and education programmes are much needed to help young people from indulging in the menace,” he added.

Kimemchu, who was speaking at his counseling and empowerment centre, said he is partnering with Murang’a county government to help in mentoring and counseling drug and substance addicts who have been treated at the local Level 5 hospital.

“We got support from well-wishers to man this counseling and mentorship centre. We receive some of addicts who have gone through treatment at Murang’a level 5 hospital. The centre, which started two years ago, has handled 198 people where 40 of them have fully recovered,” he added.

Alcoholism has been termed as a major social challenge facing people of the Central region with blame directed to production and selling of cheap and substandard liquor.

Towards the end of last year, a multiagency team was formed in every county within the region to fight selling of counterfeit alcoholic drinks, a move which got full support from Murang’a Bar Owners association.

Kimenchu further said security agencies could direct their efforts to eliminating manufacture of illicit and counterfeit brews which greatly contributed to addiction.

A recovered addict, Zachary Kuria reflected how he was indulged in abuse of alcohol for 20 years.

Kuria, 42, who currently is an addiction counselor said he was introduced to alcohol when he was in form two saying his help came when Murang’a county government offered a rehabilitation programme in 2015.

“The rehabilitation helped me since before the services, I was fully addicted and I could do nothing in terms of working and earning an income. Currently I am helping those addicted to come out from the problem,” he added.





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