Western Region recorded the highest prevalence of alcohol use at 24 per cent in 2022, with at least 767,789 users accounting for the number.
This is from a report by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) on the use of drugs and substance abuse in the country, released on Friday, May 12.
The 2022 National Survey on the Status of Drugs and Substance Use in Kenya report also shows that out of the 767,789 users, 11.4 per cent consume chang’aa, while 13 per cent consume traditional liquor.
Coast region comes second in the prevalence of alcohol use. At least 447,877 people, (14 per cent) users with the majority consuming traditional liquor and portable spirits.
The central region came third with over 415,885 users of the substance (13 per cent) with many preferring portable spirits and others- legal alcohol consumers.
In its findings, NACADA said that the increasing demand for cheaper and readily available alcoholic products especially chang’aa, traditional brews, and potable spirits is the reason why many are abusing alcohol.
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Nairobi on the other hand registered the highest prevalence of cannabis, popularly known as bhang.
Users accounted for 6.3 per cent, representing 32, 685 people, followed by Nyanza and Coast regions at 2.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.
NACADA further reported that the number of people currently using bhang has increased by 90 per cent in the last year, attributing the sharp increase to the low perception of the drug’s harm due to myths, misinformation, and misconceptions.
“The government is putting measures in place to address the myths, misinformation, and misconceptions of cannabis use among the youth and has collaborated with National and County governments to scale up joint enforcement efforts to control the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of illicit brews.”
Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo affirmed the government’s commitment to deal with drug dealers and protect all citizens from drugs and drug abuse.
“We have had alcohol and drug use prevention components integrated into the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). We are also implementing workplace programs and community-based programs that will help prevent addiction. The government is committed to taking bold actions and protecting all Kenyans,” Omollo said.