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National Agency for Campaigns against Drugs Abuse (NACADA) has revealed that drug dealers in the country have turned to online marketing.

According to their investigations, the drug peddlers have turned to online marketing of drugs using social media platforms to evade arrests during this time of Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has slowed down NACADA operations to curb drugs and substance abuse. This is because some drug and substance users have retreated back to their homes from rehabs, where they have been using drugs in the presence of their children. With the influence, children as young as the age of four are using drugs and alcohol.

Speaking at an event organised by NACADA to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Saturday, June 26, the board’s chair Prof. Mabel Imbuga said some people have been consuming alcohol even past curfew hours, in some bars, in total disregard of COVID-19 protocols.

“To address these COVID-19 related challenges, the authority is working with all key players including the Ministry of Interior and other security and law enforcement agencies to address related offenses,” Imbunga said.

This year’s theme is ‘Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives’- which highlights the need for evidence-based approaches to equip the public with tools to inform choices and effective services.

The agency has achieved much in reducing the demand for drugs and substances through the positive parenting programme but the new trend of drug dealers moving to online marketing has sent them to the drawing board to find mechanisms of recovering the lost gains.

NACADA Chief Executive Officer Victor Okioma said the authority was adopting a set of new standards to curb the menace in the country. They include the introduction and implementation of a scientific approach to research in the war against the menace. He said one of the greatest milestones that NACADA has achieved is the development of the National Standards on Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention.

NACADA has helped 10 counties to set up treatment and rehabilitation centres. The counties include Bomet, Kisii, Kwale, Mombasa and Nyeri. Others are Kisumu, Kakamega, Taita Taveta, Nakuru and Lamu.

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