Kenya Country Profile

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Drug policy

IN line with United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, member states committed to strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including abuse of narcotic drug and harmful use of alcohol and tobacco towards the overall promotion of healthy lives for all at all ages. 

Drug demand and harm reduction policy in Kenya is based on Kenyan statutes, The Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, 1994, the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 as well as relevant legislation on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Some of the policies include:

Public Sector Alcohol and Drugs Workplace Policy (2017)

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2020

Kenya Mental Health Action Plan 2021-2025

National Tele-Mental Health Guidelines (2021)

National Guideline on Workplace Mental Wellness (2023)

National Guidelines for Tobacco Dependence Treatment and Cessation (2017)

Treatment and Recovery Services

Alcohol and drug abuse treatment in Kenya is a fast-growing space in the light of increasing health challenges arising from increased abuse of alcohol and drugs, more so with the challenge of synthetic drug use. Rehabilitation services in Kenya are run by both public and private institutions that provide out-patient and in-patient services.  To ensure quality treatment and rehabilitation services to persons with substance use disorders the national agency that coordinates treatment, regulates treatment facilities’ operations and rehabilitation using guidelines and standards some of which include:

National Protocol for Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Kenya (2017)

Management of Persons with Substance Use Disorders for Residential Treatment (2021)

Substance Use Disorders and other co-occurring disorders have long life effects beyond the ill person, to the family, workplace and society. In this regard Kenya has created programs and initiatives including helplines that provide aftercare services as outlined in the :-

National Guidelines for Aftercare and Re-integration for Person Recovering from Substance Use Disorders (2022)

Community Engagement in Management of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (2022)

Prevention Services

Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder in Kenya aims at creating awareness and building capacity for evidence-based interventions both at national and devolved government. Some of the national documents include the following:

National Guidelines on Drug Use Prevention

Code of Practice for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Practitioners in Kenya

National Alcohol and Drug Use in Prevention Systems for 2023

There are robust prevention interventions that are family-based, school-based, workplace-based and community-based. The services embed other health and wellness strategies besides providing information, brief interventions, counselling and referral for substance use disorders.