Report on Drugs and Substance Abuse in Primary Schools

Report on Drugs and Substance Abuse in Primary Schools

The National Agency for the Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) in collaboration with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) released a survey on the “Status of Drugs and Substance Abuse among Primary School Pupils in Kenya” on 19th of June 2019. The event took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi.

The objectives of the survey were to examine the knowledge and attitudes of drugs and substance abuse among primary school pupils in Kenya; to evaluate the extent of availability and access to drugs and substances of abuse; determine the prevalence of drugs and substance abuse among primary school pupils in Kenya; to document the risks and protective factors associated with drugs and substance abuse; to establish the effect of life skills indicators on drugs and substance abuse.

The survey covered 3,307 pupils from 177 primary schools attending classes 5 – 8 translating to a response rate of 82.7%. 60% male and 40% female – selected randomly from 77 schools around the country. Data was collected across 25 representative counties in Kenya. The areas of the survey were: Nairobi, Central, Lower Eastern, Upper Eastern, North Eastern, Coast, Upper Rift, Lower Rift, Nyanza and Western.

The survey showed that pupils were most likely to use drugs during school holidays, on their way home from school, during weekends and during inter-school competitions. Most common sources of drugs used by school children were cited as kiosks/shops and bars near schools, friends and school workers.

The report further revealed that pupils from families where one or both parents/guardians use drugs or substances of abuse were more likely to use the same. Also, more likely to use drugs were pupils with knowledge of a friend or schoolmate using drugs or those who accompany parents to events where alcohol or any drug is being served.

During the launch, the Interior Ministry Principal Administrative Secretary Kangethe Thuku issued a directive to all regional coordinators to ensure no bar is within 300 metres of any school. He added that any alcoholic drink joints admitting minors would be dealt with, and that no alcoholic joints be located within residential areas.  In addition, he also ordered the closure of kiosks operating along the fences of schools. He also called on parents, the Ministry of Education and other government agencies to work with NACADA to fight against the abuse of drugs in minors.

KIPPRA Board Chairperson Dr Linda Musumba and Executive Director Dr Rose Ngugi gave remarks during the launch while policy analyst Dr Eldah Onsomu presented the report’s findings. Others who spoke during the launch were NACADA Board Chairperson Lt. Col (Rtd.) Julius Githiri and CEO Mr Victor Okioma.

For more information on the Survey kindly visit


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