The Government recognises the threat posed by alcohol and drug abuse and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority (NACADA) has been at the forefront in the war on drugs. The Authority coordinates a two- pronged campaign – supply suppression and demand reduction. Supply suppression involves enforcing policy, legislation and other means to control production, trafficking and sale of alcohol and other drugs. Demand reduction involves providing preventive education, public awareness, life skills, treatment, rehabilitation and psycho-social support to the general public.
The country has made tremendous strides in the campaign against alcohol and drugs. The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010, came into operation on November, 22, 2010, repealing the Chang’aa Prohibition Act (Cap 70); and the Liquor Licensing Act (Cap 121) and empowering NACADA Authority to regulate the alcoholic drinks production and sale in the country.
All districts in the country have established districts alcoholic drinks regulation committees charged with implementing and enforcing the Act and subsequent regulations. The Authority held the first ever National Conference on Alcohol and Drug Abuse from January 25 to 27, 2012. The three-day conference drew participants from research institutions, institutions of higher learning, government ministries, departments and agencies, faith-based organisations, media, the Judiciary, and representatives of non-governmental organisations among others.
A daily audience of 700 participants graced the conference. Deliberations included presentations by renowned personalities in the campaign against alcohol and drug abuse. The key outcome of the forum was the acknowledgement that alcohol and drug abuse is a major socio-economic challenge in achieving the country’s development targets. Participants unanimously supported the declaration of alcohol and drug abuse a national disaster. Inadequate personnel in addiction, counselling and limited afford- able rehabilitation services have been a constraint in the treatment and rehabilitation of persons with substance use disorders. To address the gap, the Authority launched a toll free helpline, 1192, in April, 2010, to provide 24-hour counselling and referral services for alcohol and drug abuse cases.
The service is providing counselling and referral advice to more than 2,500 Kenyans every month month. In the period from July 2011 to June 2012, 32,586 calls were attended to.
Further, the Authority supported setting up/strengthening of treatment and rehabilitation services at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital by providing Kshs4.4 million.
NACADA also trained nurses and social workers for 20 days on basic addiction counselling at Coast General Hospital.