Challenges to drug and substance abuse cessation efforts among students in secondary schools: a case of Machakos town, Machakos County, Kenya.
Makau, Beth James
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The purpose of this study was to investigate into the challenges experienced in drug and substance abuse cessation efforts by students in secondary schools in Machakos County. The following were the four objectives of the study; to investigate individual challenges experienced by students in secondary schools in Machakos Town in their effort to stop abusing drugs, to establish family challenges experienced by students in secondary schools in Machakos Town in their efforts to stop abusing drugs, to establish school challenges experienced by students in secondary schools in Machakos Town in their efforts to stop abusing drugs, and to establish counseling interventions that can be used to help students in secondary schools in Machakos Town to stop abuse of drugs. Three theories were used; Ecological Systems theory, Planned behavior theory, and Trans- theoretical model. The study used descriptive study plan to gather data that related to individuals behavior, feelings and views. From the 27 schools within the town, 9 were purposively sampled. Each school provided a total of 12 respondents, 3 students from each form who were randomly selected from their respective forms. There were also 10 kiosk owners whom the researcher interviewed, one deputy principal, and 1 guidance and counseling teacher from each school which formed a total of 136respondents. The study used both questionnaires and interview guides to collect data. The questionnaires were administered to both students and teachers while the interviews were conducted with kiosk owners around the school compounds. The various methods of data collection ensured triangulation and richer data. Data analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 20 utilizing descriptive procedures. The results were presented in frequency distribution, tables, and percentages. The findings revealed that 46.7% of both boys and girls in public and private secondary schools were aware that students abuse drugs. Majority 66.7% indicated that withdrawal syndromes were the individual challenges faced in the cessation efforts. 37.9% indicated that irresponsible parents were the major family challenge. 45.3% indicated that peer pressure was the major school challenge experienced in cessation efforts. 32.4% indicated that counseling by teachers was the commonly used method of helping students in their effort to quit drug and substance abuse. One of the major recommendations included having trained drug and abuse counselors in schools to be able to help the students who are involved in substance abuse.