The prevalence of non-therapeutic drug use among university students in Kenya is an issue of great concern. This concern is exacerbated by the escalating trend of drug abuse within Kenyan universities.
In a concerted effort to address this pressing issue, the Office of the Dean of Students, in collaboration with the Jomo Kenyatta University Students Association (JKUSA), organized a sensitization workshop, Friday, August 4, 2023.
The workshop, titled ‘Drug Awareness and Sensitization,’ aimed to educate students about the adverse effects of drug abuse and empower them to become advocates against this detrimental practice. It attracted a diverse range of stakeholders, including CBT Kenya, Finding Me, Young African Leaders and Aspirations (YALA) Officials, and Stegrami Rehabilitation Centre Ltd.
JKUSA Academic Affairs Secretary, Geri Nyaore, said that drug abuse has evolved into a grave global concern that has not spared JKUAT.
“As we strive to excel academically and shape our futures, it is imperative to confront the harsh realities associated with drug misuse and abuse. This menace jeopardizes not only individuals’ health and well-being but also undermines the very fabric of our educational environment,” said Nyaore.
He further said the gathering served as a platform to illuminate the repercussions of drug abuse and, more crucially, empower students with the ability to make prudent and informed choices.
“Our aim is to foster a culture of awareness, compassion, and support, where each member of our community feels empowered to resist the allure of drugs and opt for decisions that enhance their overall well-being,” said Nyaore,
Sharing his views, Radak Okoth, a fourth-year student pursuing BSc. in Medical Laboratory Sciences, said drugs are akin to sweet poison that slowly takes its toll. He emphasized that succumbing to drugs might seem tempting, but it often leads to being exploited through strenuous work for minimal compensation.
Representing the Dean of Students, Senior Assistant Registrar in the Dean’s Office, Ms. Beatrice Kamonjo, emphasized the critical importance of tackling this growing issue. She advised students against resorting to alcohol and drugs as solutions for life’s difficulties, reassuring them of JKUAT administration’s unwavering support whenever required.
She also affirmed the Institution’s dedication to collaborating in the fight against the detrimental effects of substance abuse.
Ms. Wangui Maina, CEO and Founder of Finding Me, and a fourth-year BSc. Economics student at JKUAT, reminded student leaders and counselors of their pivotal role in the battle against drug abuse among their peers.
The meeting also featured a panel discussion where the effects of drugs and substance abuse were discussed in great detail. This engaging conversation shed light on the multifaceted challenges posed by addiction and underscored the importance of comprehensive support systems for those affected especially in institutions of higher learning.