By Allen Opiyo
Drug addiction is a vice that has been with us for a very long time. Individuals who abuse drugs pose a
great risk to themselves. They expose their bodies to sickness, poor health or contraction of hepatitis or
HIV through needle injection or ultimately death. The society at large, also suffers when these users
continue to abuse drugs. There is increased violent crimes relating to substance use, increased foster
care child placements, loss of productivity among others. If not addressed, our children and the future
generations will be predisposed to drugs at an early age and hence reduce the quality of their lives.
Effect on family
Closest people to drug users are the hardest hit by the effects of an individual’s drug use. In a family
where a member is an addict, there tends to be criticism, negativity and cases of conflict between the
drug user and the other members who are not addicts. Between spouses, domestic violence is at a much
higher chance of occurring compared to couples who do not use drugs or alcohol. Children with parents
abusing drugs often lack basic necessities like food and proper health care.
Effect on co-workers
You may be in a work place where a co- worker is a drug addict or drinks alcohol while at work. Drug
users place a heavy burden on co workers, like taking on additional responsibility or working for long
hours to compensate for the addicted worker. This significantly reduces productivity. There is also risk of
work place injury in organizations where minor mistakes could be catastrophic e.g. air lines or train
Effect on health care systems
Addiction cases causes a strain on healthcare systems, which could be avoided if early interventions are
taken. The government sets aside a lot of money each year to deal with addiction, money that is in turn
paid by the taxpayers. Co-occurring mental disorders also emerge where there are cases of long term
drug use, adding to the strain on dealing with addiction with hospitals and rehab centers.
Drug use and crime
Over half the population of incarcerated people have used or are using illicit drugs and alcohol. A huge
number of people incarcerated have cases of direct contact with illicit drugs such as peddling and
manufacturing. Also, other numerous incarcerations have been of cases where crime was committed to
obtain money for drugs. Besides this, there is a significantly increasing number of violent crimes relating
to drug use.
If you or you know someone suffering from addiction, it is important that they get help as soon as
possible. We at CBT Kenya offers therapeutic intervention among other treatment options to restore life
back to normalcy, where a professional therapist will walk every step with you until full recovery.
Contact us today and make your first step towards a healthy and motivated life.
1.National Drug Intelligence Center(2011) The economic impact of illicit drug use on American society.
Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice.
2. Teerawattananon Y, Patra J.(2009)Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable
to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders. Lancet.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(2014). Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control
Programs.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.