Kwale County Deputy Governor (DG) Fatuma Achani has called on the society to end the stigma associated with drug addiction in the region.
Achani said drug addicts were not to blame for their plight and underscored the need to stop the widespread stigmatization of drug users.
She said those people abusing hard drugs and other banned substances needed love, care and rehabilitation in order to be useful members of the society again.
The DG was speaking on Sunday in Ngo’mbeni area of Matuga Sub County when she distributed bursary cheques worth Sh1.5 million to 26 first year university students from the area.
She said people have little sympathy for drug addicts since they took illicit substances in the first place.
Achani urged society to treat drug addicts with humility since they needed everyone’s love and acceptance to reform, adding that the county’s Kombani drug rehabilitation centre would continue to treat those fighting addiction.
She said currently the drug rehabilitation centre is assisting at least 700 youth who were fighting to kick off addiction.
Achani urged the security agencies, religious leaders and community-based organizations to work together to effectively tackle the scourge.
The National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has expressed concern that youths in the Coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu were badly under the grip of illicit drugs.
The anti-drug agency says the alarming rate of hard drug use among the youth in the region has assumed a worrisome dimension despite persistent campaigns against the vice.
The main function of NACADA is to campaign against drug abuse and create awareness on the dangers of drug abuse.
The agency also coordinates all other government agencies and departments concerned with suppression of supply and drug demand reduction.
Achani said Kwale will receive Sh5 million from NACADA which would be used in supporting the war against drugs and protecting the future of the youth.
She said the youth abused drugs such as bhang, mandrax, heroin and cocaine in the region and called for unity in the fight against the drugs menace in the society.
Residents in many parts of the coastal county have blamed a spike in burglaries, muggings, purse snatchings and mobile phone thefts on drug addicts hunting quick money to feed their habits mostly bhang and heroin.
By Hussein Abdullahi