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Mercy Wanjiku Karanja - High School Teacher and Counselling Psychologist, Kenya

Dr. Heather E. Kipchumba - Senior Lecturer, Kenyatta University, Department of Public Policy and Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya


In Kenya, drug and substance abuse is on the rise, with more dangerous opiates like heroin replacing alcohol and cigarettes. Children who have been exposed to drugs or alcohol are particularly vulnerable. Policies have been pushed through programs on relationships, parenting abilities, and dialogues, as well as alcohol and drug misuse education yet the burden of drug abuse still weighs on Kiambu. The study analysed the family factors that initiate the use of alcohol and drug abuse in Juja Sub-county, Kiambu. The research was anchored by Social Control Theory. A descriptive research design was adopted. A pilot study was carried out using 30 respondents from Thika town. The research targeted 104,301 households in Juja sub-county. The Yamane formula was utilized in the determination of sample size. The snowball sampling technique was used to select participants. The data was gathered using structured questionnaires. The quantitative data gathered was analysed descriptively and inferentially. The qualitative data were analysed through themes and presented in narrative form. The analysed quantitative data was displayed in frequency tables, pie charts, and bar graphs. A research authorization letter was sought from Kenyatta University and a research permit from the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation. The findings established that favourable parental attitudes towards alcoholism lead to drug and alcohol abuse. The history of family drug abuse and marital conflict contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. The study concludes that there is substantial impact of family environment on an individual's susceptibility to alcohol and drug abuse. Factors such as parental substance use, family cohesion, communication, and parenting styles play pivotal roles in shaping an individual's risk or resilience to substance abuse. The study recommends maintenance of open and non-judgmental communication within the family members about the risks and consequences of alcohol and drug use.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)