Chipukeezy’s open letter to CS Matiangi

NACADA Director Chipukeezy has today sent an open letter to interior CS Fred Matiangi.

This comes after their meeting yesterday where they held discussions concerning the amendment of laws relating to alcohol and drug abuse among other issues.

Here is the full statement by Chipukeezy

As a young person and a Director at the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), I seek your indulgence in facilitating the review and amendment of various laws that facilitate Alcohol and Drug Abuse Management.

Of importance is to adopt and implement a public health based approach that not only recognizes Addiction/ Substance Use Disorders as a disease, but one that affords persons with Substance Use Disorders with the necessary treatment and care that they need.

There is no doubt that the drug (alcohol and tobacco included) industry continues to adversely affect the development and security of our country. It is therefore important that law enforcement combined with social reintegration that creates viable and sustainable alternatives especially for our young people (remembering that they are the future of the Nation) who are lost to addiction are created.

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What I mean is that we need to find middle ground that both seeks to correct as well as cure the ill done by persons using drugs. Let us find a way to fulfill and realize the Spirit of the Constitution concerning the vulnerable people in our society which includes the youth. 

In view of this, we need to amend our law that regulate Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances to provide for mechanisms to protect and safeguard the lives of people arrested for possession of drugs by recognizing that such people need help and are provided with the said medical help as a means of reforming them.

For instance, let has have an avenue where a Judicial Officer can commit an accused person to a Treatment and Rehabilitation Facility for them to get treated as well as acquire vocational training that can help them upon completion of the treatment process.

Let us design and operationalize our treatment facility in a holistic manner that affords persons an all-round and integrated approach in their recovery journey. Let us safe guard the lives of the hundreds of people dying from alcohol and drug abuse by off by offering them a second chance at life. 

For the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, let us have a limit to the number of premises that can be licensed to operate in our Counties. Let us strengthen the mechanisms that have been put in place to limit availability of alcohol and especially to persons under the age of 18.

Let us not glamorous alcohol, why give people without food alcohol, why not prioritize the needs of our people and give them sustainable alternatives to address their needs?

Let us establish the framework for vetting advertisements and weigh the benefits that they have vis-à-vis doing away with them due to the influence they have on our children. 

To safe guard and bring back to normalcy the lives of those who are suffering from addiction/substance use disorders, let us endeavor to have affordable and holistic treatment and rehabilitation.

Let your Ministry work with Ministry of Health to integrate treatment into the Primary Health Care System. It would ease the social and economic burden if substance use issues are identified and addressed at the earliest possible, before they escalate and become major issues that will ultimately affect recognition of the Big ‘4’ as well as Vision 2030.

Finally, let us strengthen the role of the NACADA and provide the necessary financial and political support to enable the Authority design and implement necessary and effective legislations and programmes to address the alcohol and drug situation in the Country. 

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