Nacada sounds alarm over rise in alcohol consumption at home
The National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) has raised concern over the prevalent consumption of alcohol in the presence of children.
Nacada said that due to Covid-19 restrictions, some parents take alcohol at home and this exposes children drug and alcohol abuse
Nacada Board of Directors Chairperson Mabel Imbuga said there is an upsurge in the online sale of liquor which exposes the youth to the risk of alcohol abuse since they easily access the commodity through online outlets.
She said that due to e-learning, most youths can easily access alcohol and anything they yearn for.
Prof Imbuga, who spoke on Friday during an occasion to observe the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (Idada) 2020, said that some bars allow revellers to drink in the closed premises in total disregard of the government’s Covid-19 containment guidelines.
“Social distancing, and use of facemasks and sanitisers are totally disregarded in these bars [when the liquor takes effect]. To address these Covid-19-related challenges, Nacada is working with the Ministry of Interior and other security and law enforcement agencies to address these Covid-19 related offences and other alcohol and drug abuse crimes and wish to warn those perpetuating the wrongdoings that the law will catch up with them,” she said.
The country, she said, faces a serious challenge of alcohol and drug abuse that threatens to reverse hard-earned socio-economic development.
Data obtained from numerous surveys conducted by Nacada and whose findings are published in their site highlight a growing drug problem especially among the youth and the threat this challenge poses to the country’s socio-economic development.
According to a national survey conducted by the authority in 2017, alcohol was cited as the most used substance of abuse with 12.2 per cent of persons aged 15 – 65 being active consumers of the commodity.
Alcohol use also contributes to the highest-burden of substance use disorders (SUDs) with 10.4 per cent of the population aged between 15 and 65 years being addicted to it.
Among school-going children, the situation is grim as 20.2 per cent of primary school pupils have ever used at least one substance of abuse in their lifetime according to the national survey on primary schools conducted in 2019.
“Online liquor sales have emerged as a big challenge. It is now easy for a youngster to order alcohol in the guise of an adult, from any of the easily available and accessible online suppliers then pick the commodity from anywhere away from their homes,” said Nacada Chief Executive Officer Victor Okioma.
Mr Okioma called for collective efforts in regulating the sale of liquor to the youth via online platforms.
June 26 marks an important date in Nacada’s calendar. It presents the authority with a chance to take stock of the gains they have made, the challenges encountered and the prospect of charting a collective way forward in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking.
This year, the day also marks the 32nd Idada commemoration, indicating that the world continues to recognise drug abuse as a global challenge requiring global interventions.