Counties urged to set up rehabilitation centres as NACADA marks International Day Against Drug Abuse

Counties urged to set up rehabilitation centres as NACADA marks International Day Against Drug Abuse

Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Karanja Kibicho has urged County Governments to step up the fight against drug abuse by putting up treatment and rehabilitation centres in their counties.

Dr. Kibicho called on counties to make use of funds collected through liqour licencing to set up such facilities.

“I particularly appeal to the County Governments to make use of funds collected from liquor licensing to support prevention programmes and to put up treatment and rehabilitation facilities in their Counties for effective prevention, control and mitigation. Additionally, I implore Counties to support law enforcement agencies in carrying out regular enforcement operations in their Counties to enhance compliance,” said the PS.

He spoke on Saturday during the marking of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADA) hosted by NACADA in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Dr. Kibicho acknowledged that illicit drug trafficking and abuse remains a major challenge worldwide even as he lauded NACADA for the campaigns and programmes rolled out to address the drug abuse menace in the country.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has further compounded the situation through increased stress levels with more people getting into drug use during the containment period while many others have progressed to substance use disorders,” said Kibicho

He highlighted the operationalization of the Ksh.1.5 billion Miritini Drug Rehabilitation Centre as a major achievement that his Ministry is proud of.

“The project (Miritini Drug Rehabilitation Centre ) coordinated by NACADA was borne out of a Presidential Directive in 2015 and is currently providing a wide-range of both in and outpatient services to the affected youth in the Coast Region. It is the plan of Government to make Miritini a center of excellence in the management of substance use disorders and in this connection, I call upon our local and international partners to support this worthy course which is estimated to cost Ksh.1.5 billion,” said Kibicho.

He pointed out Public Education and Advocacy as one of prevention programs rolled out by NACADA targeting schools, families, workplaces and communities with an aim of providing the people with information and knowledge on alcohol and drug abuse.

“Other advocacy programmes include public sensitization, training of professionals, community engagements and coalitions to spearhead community response to the negative impact of drug abuse… On Treatment & Rehabilitation, NACADA has rolled out guidelines to facilitate evidence driven treatment and rehabilitation of persons with Substance Use Disorders,” said Kibicho.

The PS called upon all stakeholders in the public and private sector to take a proactive role in addressing the challenge of alcohol and drugs particularly among the youth.

Speaking during the same event, NACADA board Chairperson Prof. Mabel Imbuga pointed out that the authority has supported ten counties (Bomet, Kisii, Kwale, Mombasa, Nyeri, Kisumu, Kakamega, Taita Taveta, Nakuru and Lamu) in establishing county-based treatment and rehabilitation centres.

“This has been critical in enhancing uptake of treatment services at the local level. Additionally, the regular training of Addiction Professionals including their certification has ensured that the country has a pool of resource persons to provide evidence-based interventions to persons with substance use disorders,” said Prof. Imbuga.

Some of the programmes rolled out by NACADA include the Positive Parenting Programme targeting parents and empowers them with knowledge on drugs and how to help an affected family member as well as the Workplace Prevention Programme that assists public sector organizations design and implement preventive and mitigative programmes on alcohol and drug abuse for their staff and families.

During the event, NACADA CEO Victor Okioma led the launch of National Guidelines on the Use of Drugs which aim to improve delivery of programs, interventions and policies to address alcohol and drug abuse challenges in Kenya.

“The document is anchored on the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention (2015) that summarizes the science that underlies evidence-based prevention interventions and policies for preventing or reducing substance use. The standards will provide framework for state and non-state actors to effectively carry out prevention programs and policies that are applicable to our Kenyan context,” said the NACADA CEO.