Bungoma Red Cross Hold First Ever Drug Addict Survivors Forum In Mt Elgon


By Isabella Maua

Reformed drug addict survivors have been advised to embrace self-awareness and acceptance in their journey to recovery and fight against stigma.

Speaking during the first ever drug addict reformist forum at Kaptama, Mt. Elgon Sub County, held by Kenya Red Cross Bungoma with support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland; Kimilili Deputy OCPD Evans Nyakundi encouraged the youths to stay focused on their recovery mission.

“Today we are glad to have you here voluntarily. We appreciate your courage and willingness to keep off drugs and substance abuse and lead a clean life. Don’t be tempted by peer pressure, but keep positive company,” reiterated Nyakundi, who is also a professional counselor.

As the youth shared their concerns and experiences, it was evident that the use of harmful drugs is becoming rampant among males and females, but even more so among the females, especially school-going girls.

It is saddening that schoolgirls have now innovated new methods of smuggling drugs, especially bhang to schools.

“Nowadays, they simply boil bhang and inject it into fruits like oranges and bananas, as well as juices; to make matters worse, some even put the drugs on their sanitary towels so that they are absorbed directly into the body,” revealed one of the participants.

Rose Chemos, Mt. Elgon’s focal person for Bungoma Red Cross, encouraged the youths to maintain focus and not be shaken by stigma since they are tomorrow’s ambassadors.

Moses Kiplang’at is a 30-year-old man from Kaptama, a medical doctor who graduated in 2016 but has not yet been employed.

In his narration, he brings out the pain and agony of many innocent teenagers who fall prey to drug abuse, oblivious to the perilous lifestyle awaiting them in later years.

“My journey with drugs started in primary school, where I started sniffing glue in standard eight. In Form 2, I embarked on using Kuber, and that’s when my academic performance started dwindling. I, however, managed to score a B and joined Campus, where I graduated to being a Bhang user,” divulged Kiplang’at.

He added, “My life turned upside down the day I smoked my first puff of bhang; after that, I found myself in the hospital bed, hinting less at what took me there; it’s now been one month since I quit drugs, and I’m now under medication as I strive to preach to my fellow youths to shun this vice.”

To wrap it up, the team decided that they were going to take up counseling sessions once a week for the next eight weeks with medical experts, psychiatrists, and reformed survivors to mentor them.

The forum was hosted by Kaptama area chief Anthony Lawendi, who pledged to walk with the survivors and even mobilize more of them to come out and benefit from the sessions so that they can be role models in the area in the near future.

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