According to the most recent survey conducted by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), there has been a significant 90% increase in the consumption of cannabis, commonly known as bhang, over the past five years. The national survey, titled the “Status of Drugs and Substance Use (DSU) in Kenya, 2022,” was released on Monday and reveals that approximately one in every 53 Kenyans aged 15 to 65, totaling around 518,807 individuals, is currently using this drug.

Breaking down the statistics, it shows that one in every 26 males (475,770) and one in every 333 females (43,037) are using cannabis. Nairobi has the highest rate of consumption at 6.3%, followed by Nyanza at 2.4%, and the Coast at 1.9%. In terms of the most abused substances in the country, cannabis ranks fourth, trailing behind Khat (Miraa), tobacco, and alcohol, which occupy the top positions.

In the same age group of 15 to 65 years, approximately 3,199,119 people were found to be using alcohol, with a significant portion of them coming from Western Kenya. Nairobi tops the list for the prevalence of legal manufactured alcohol at 10.3%, followed by Central at 10.0%, and Eastern at 8.4%. Chang’aa and traditional liquor use are highest in the Western region, while potable spirits are most prevalent in the Central region.

Tobacco users nationwide number around 2,305,929, with a majority residing in Central Kenya. Miraa chewing is most widespread in the Eastern region, with a recorded total of 964,737 users across the country.

This survey was carried out in selected clusters across the nation, targeting Kenyans aged 15 to 65 years. The sample was obtained from the Kenya Household Master Sample Frame (K-HMSF) maintained by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). NACADA emphasizes that this survey serves as a follow-up to the 2007, 2012, and 2017 five-year surveys on DSU, which are used to evaluate the effectiveness of programs aimed at reducing the demand for and supply of drugs and substances over the last five years.

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