|BASIC INFORMATION ON DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE KENYA NATIONAL AGENCY FOR THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST DRUG ABUSE (NACADA) January, 2002
6.0 MANAGEMENT OF DRUG/SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Drug/substance abuse is managed through prevention, treatment and
- Restricting availability — government policies.
- Reduction of over prescribing by doctors on drugs like the
Benzodiozepines and other anxiolytics.
- Health education and information about dangers of drugs/substance abuse.
- School Curriculum
- Media Forums
- Religious Forums etc
- Identification and treatment of family problems that may contribute to
More effort has been put on prevention of drug/substance abuse because as
the old adage goes "prevention is better than cure." The situation
on the ground however reveals that there are too many persons addicted to
drug/substance of abuse who need treatment and rehabilitation Section 52 of
the 1994 Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (control) act provides
for establishment of treatment and rehabilitation centres for persons
addicted to Narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. In its programme of
action for the next 10 years and beyond, the Division of the mental health
(MOH) recommended the establishment of drug/substance addiction centres in
every district in Kenya.
Drug/substances abuse treatment programmes are categorised according to
whether they offer inpatient (residential) or outpatient (non-residential)
- Detoxification centres
Detoxification is a process whereby an alcoholic or drug addicted person is
withdrawn from the drug often under chemotherapy. Medication is necessary
for the control of the withdrawal symptoms, which can be fatal if not closely
monitored and treated. Admission into a hospital or a detoxification centre
is therefore advised.
The Kenyan society tends to seek assistance for drug abuse victims as a
last resort especially when the victim starts showing signs and symptoms of
mental derangement. Most of these cases end up in psychiatric hospitals
(public or private) where they are detoxified.
- Residential treatment centres
Duration of stay is 28 days. Detoxification, which lasts from 5-10 days, is
followed by individual and group therapy. Most of these 28 days treatment
programmes are tailored along the 12 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A)
or Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.).
Duration of stay is 3 - 6 months. Individual and group therapy sessions
are carried out in a therapeutic community set up. Relapse prevention
training and work motivation is an essential component of the rehabilitation
Duration of treatment is 6 - 12 months. Treatment is based on the
concept of a therapeutic community (TC). In the developed countries,
long-term treatment programs are gaining popularity in the criminal justice
system where TCs are incorporated as part of the correction system within the
The institutions listed below have been engaged in drug abuse treatment
and rehabilitation in Kenya.
- MATHARI MENTAL HOSPITAL - NAIROBI
12% of all the patients admitted at Mathari Hospital suffer primarily from
drug/substance abuse and drug/substance induced psychosis. Some form of
rehabilitation is carried out by the occupational therapy department. The
republic of Kenya’s Drug Control master plan (Year 2000) recommended
establishment of a National drug abuse rehabilitation unit within Mathari
hospital. The unit has not been established yet.
- ASUMBI TREATMENT CENTER - NYANZA
Establishment in 1986, Asumbi is the oldest alcohol and drug abuse
rehabilitation centre in Kenya. The centre is situated in the interland of
- BRIGHTSIDE D.A.R.T. CENTRE - NAIROBI
Brightside drug abuse rehabilitation and treatment centre, situated in
Kitisuru, Nairobi, is a residential facility for detoxification, treatment
and rehabilitation for alcohol and substance abuse. The institution, which
has been operational from 6/4/1998 offers short term and mid-term treatment,
- RED HILL PLACE - KIAMBU
Situated at the Red hill in Tigoni, off Limuru road, the Red hill place
opened doors to patients on 2/4/2001. On admission, patients are assessed
and those requiring detoxification are referred to an appropriate facility
before admission. The Red hill place offers mid-term alcohol and drug
The cost of residential drug/substance abuse treatment is substantial.
Outpatient treat is cheaper and reaches a wider clientele. There are four
categories of outpatient treatment programmes.
Most hospitals with psychiatric units or drug/substance abuse treatment
facilities have outpatient clinics, which are used as part of follow-up after
the patient is discharged. In Europe and America, some clinics provide
methadone maintenance for heroin addicts. Methadone maintenance has not
gained acceptance in Kenya.
Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists provide drug/substance abuse
treatment in form of counseling and psychotherapy in their private offices.
There are several counseling centres e.g. Amani counseling centre, which
assist the victims through supportive counseling.
Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous made
up of recovered alcoholics and drug addicts assist others to recover and
maintain sobriety through sharing. These groups also act as aftercare for
patients who have completed drug/substance abuse treatment in rehabilitation
Many drug takers have great difficulty in establishing themselves in
normal society. The aim of rehabilitation is to enable the drug depended
person to leave the drug subculture, and develop new social contacts. Unless
he can do this, any treatment is likely to fail.
Rehabilitation is often undertaken after therapeutic community treatment.
Patients at first engage in work and social activities in sheltered
surroundings. They then take greater responsibility of themselves in
conditions increasingly like those of every day life as they continuously get
Back to top
This site is designed by David Ogot snr. and hosted by
Science & Engineering Research Center
©goinghomedotcom 2001 - 2006