Barack Obama: I made bad choices over drug use

By Edna Karugo


Kenya: Drug abuse in Kenya has always been a serious issue especially among youth in their 20s. Currently the country has been faced with several other challenges and therefore the focus on drugs in the country is much less now compared to previous years.

However, this does not approve the use of drugs amongst the Kenyan youths. Nacada has always played an important role in control of drug use, headed by Mututho who with no fear or favour has boldly challenged alcoholism. Their efforts and other bodies cannot go unnoticed but we as individuals and youths of this country, have a bigger role to play.

Obama confessed to Chicago youth that he abused drugs in his young age, he told them that he was not brought up with a dad and was therefore angry about it but never realized.  “I made bad choices, I got high without thinking about the harm it would do. I didn’t take school seriously as I should have.”

Obama explained that he grew up in an environment that was a little bit forgiving such that whenever he made a mistake, the consequence was not as severe. Around him were people who always encouraged him, that is his mother and grandparents, wonderful teachers and community leaders who always pushed him to work hard and make the most of himself, there are times he ignored the advice but they always said it again and again and gave him chances repeatedly. "They never gave up on me," he said.

He therefore never gave up on himself either and strongly believes every child deserves as many chances as possible.

Many youths have wasted their lives through drugs, directly or indirectly; overdose and accidents just to name among the list. Peer influence and hopelessness has made the reach to drugs much easier and made it difficult to bring it to an end. The youth need to be resilient and not give up so that they can overcome obstacles that come their way. It does not count where you come from or the circumstances in which you were born, if you work hard and take responsibility, and then u can always make it in every endeavour.

George Obama, Barrack Obama’s half-brother, is a self-confessed ex gangster from Huruma slum, well known as ‘Mamba’, he was an armed robber back in the days.

He also confessed to abusing drugs in his younger years.. In an interview with CNN he broadly remarked “We are different with my brother because of the worlds’ we live in, but that’s the path I chose in my young age.”

However, with chances he has taken responsibility and has had a change in life and is no longer involved with the criminal life.

Kenyan youths have a lot to learn from the Obamas. To be addicted to drugs only takes a fortnight. The responsibility lies within each individual decision making and abstinence. As much as the society we live in today is forgiving, we need to practice self-control and responsibility in the chances we get from those around us. Drug may post pone the problem at hand but will never be the answer to any problem.