The Unit is a section of the Criminal Investigations Department charged with the responsibility of enforcing the Narcotics and psychotropic substances Control Act No. 4 of 1994[L.O.K]. The Unit was established in 1983 to specifically deal with illicit drug trafficking.
Our Vision …To have a drug free Society in Kenya

A.N.U CORE FUNCTIONS
Investigation of drugs cases
Detection and prevention of drug offences
Apprehension and prosecution of drug offenders
Gathering and disseminating drug intelligence to other law enforcement agencies locally and internationally
Maintaining data bank on reported drug cases
Liaison with local and international organizations dealing in drug related cases

Drugs of abuse
What is a drug – is any substance legal or illegal which when consumed affects the Normal functioning of the Central nervous system by either stimulating or depressing it.
Drug Abuse – is a repeated self-administration of a drug for non-medical reasons.

Common drugs of Abuse

CANABIS PLANT

It is spread throughout the country due to its easy availability and low prices. The cultivation of the herbal cannabis was not a problem of much concern to the society in the early 80s. Its socio- economic effects were not felt then. It was a source of income to the neighbours of Mt. Kenya and Aberdares forests, Kisii, Isebania, Taveta among other places.
The Kenyan Government upon seeing the impact of drug abuse in early 90 enacted the law to cater for drug related offences in 1994. Lately, large quantities originate from Uganda and Tanzania.( The law on drugs in these countries is weak)




HEROINE

  • Plant: Opium Poppy plant
  • Raw products: Opium

Extracts:Morphine, Codeine, Heroine [pictures]
Heroin is a semi-synthetic derivative of morphine. It is a Psycho depressant. Morphine and codeine belong to this group and have a High degree of analgesic activity. Its main sources are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or Turkey transiting through East Africa to USA or Europe. A small percentage however is locally consumed in Kenya.

OPIUM POPPY PLANT FROM WHICH HEROIN IS DERIVED
Heroine comes in many colours
White (from Thailand, Burma and Laos commonly referred to as Golden Crescent)
Brown (also referred to as ‘Brown sugar’) from Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq. It is later purified to become white heroine.
Black Heroine – (also known as Tar heroine) Mostly from turkey. It is not common in Kenya.
Heroine is commonly abused in the Coastal region due to tourism destination and Nairobi because it is a business destination for many international businesses. The two towns receive lots of foreigners.Kenya is an ideal transit point due to its geographical and strategic position and also the good communication network. It has good airlines like the KQ which is considered No. 1 in our region. Many Ships also dock at our sea port. Coastal front is a tourism hub. Stable political situation in the region has also contributed. Our borders are porous and long hence penetration by drug dealers.

COCAINE and CRACK

  • Plant:   Coca plant
  • Raw products:    Coca leaves
  • Extracts:Cocaine and Crack

Sources- Latin (South) American states: Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Columbia and Venezuela. Kenya is a transit point to Europe, Middle East and South Africa but small quantities have found their way into Kenyan Market just for the same reasons as earlier stated under heroine.Cocaine and crack are stimulants hence speed up the activities of the CNS.

Crack is derived from cocaine. Cocaine(Powder) is dissolved in a solution of ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda) and water. The solution is boiled until a solid substance separates from the boiling mixture. The solid substance (Crack Cocaine) is allowed to dry and then broken or cut into rocks. Abusers heat the crack and smoke it.
Psychotropic Substances
These include variety of legal and illegal psychotropic substances that can be readily bought over the counter in most chemists or drug shops or stolen from Health Centres and Hospitals. Some of the commonly abused psychotropic substances include Diazepam ,Benzhexol and Flunitrazepam commonly referred to as Rohypnol manufactured by ROCHE.

Club Drugs
MDMA (Ecstasy), Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are among the drugs used by teens and young adults who are part of a nightclub, bar, rave, or trance scene. Current science is showing change to critical parts of the brain from use of these drugs. Also, in high doses most of these drugs can cause a sharp increase in body temperature (malignant hyperthermia) leading to muscle breakdown and kidney and cardiovascular system failure.
GHB, Rohypnol, and ketamine are predominantly central nervous system depressants. Because they are often colourless, tasteless, and odourless, they can be added to beverages and ingested unknowingly.

These drugs emerged a few years ago as date rape drugs. Because of concern about their abuse, to aid in sexual assault.

GHB
Since about 1990, GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) has been abused for euphoric, sedative, and anabolic (body building) effects. It is a central nervous system depressant that was widely available over-the-counter in health food stores during the 1980s and until 1990s.

GHB was purchased largely by body builders to aid fat reduction and muscle building. Street names include Liquid Ecstasy, Soap, Easy Lay, and Georgia Home Boy.

Coma and seizures can occur following abuse of GHB and, when combined with methamphetamine, there appears to be an increased risk of seizure. Combining use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and difficulty breathing. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating.

GHB and two of its precursors, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1, 4 butanediol (BD) have been involved in poisonings, overdoses, date rapes, and deaths.

These products, obtainable over the internet and sometimes still sold in health food stores, are also available at some gyms, raves, nightclubs, gay male parties, college campuses, and the street. They are commonly mixed with alcohol (which may cause unconsciousness), have a short duration of action, and are not easily detectable on routine hospital toxicology screens.

Rohypnol
Rohypnol, a trade name for flunitrazepam, has been of particular concern for the last few years because of its abuse in date rape. It belongs to a class of drugs knows as benzodiazepines.

When mixed with alcohol, Rohypnol can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. It can produce "anterograde amnesia," which means individuals may not remember events they experienced while under the effects of the drugs. Also, Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants.

Ketamine
Ketamine is an anaesthetic that has been approved for both human and animal use in medical settings since 1970; about 90 percent of the ketamine legally sold is intended for veterinary use. It can be injected or snorted. Ketamine is also known as Special K or vitamin K.

Certain doses of ketamine can cause dream-like states and hallucinations, and it has become common in club and rave scenes and has been used as a date rape drug.

At high doses, ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.

WHY DO PEOPLE ABUSE DRUGS?

Peer influence
Mob psychology
Sense of belonging to a group
Broken families, irresponsible parenthood
Desire to seek refuge/temporary bliss
Desire to defy authority/societal norms
Maladjusted personality
Frustration/lack of counseling
Poverty
Unemployment
Lack of information
Curiosity/Experimentation
Academics
Lung and respiratory problems caused by smoke including lung cancer
Infertility,
Bronchitis,
Asthma,
High blood pressure,
Painful periods in women
Deformed babies.
HIV/Aids and Hepatitis B.
Euphoria,
Drowsiness,
Nausea,
Constipation,
Confusion,
False confidence of well being,
Spontaneous laughter,
Paranoid feeling(unwarranted fear),
Vomiting and sever itching.
Learning and Memory impairment due to shrinkage of brain.
Peers
Families
Social and economic consequences
Peers
Families
Social and economic consequences
Delinquency
Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual.
Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits.
Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination.
Drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
Unexplained need for money or financial problems. May borrow or steal to get it.
Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviours.
Sudden change in friends, favourite hangouts, and hobbies.
Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities).
Unexplained change in personality or attitude.
Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts.
Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness.
Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason.
Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
Depressants(including Xanax, Valium, GHB): Contracted pupils; drunk-like; difficulty concentrating; clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness.
Stimulants(including amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth): Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability; anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times; may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and nose.
Inhalants (glues, aerosols, vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision, memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth; headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control; changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; lots of cans/aerosols in the trash.
Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP): Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behaviour including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other objects, slurred speech; confusion.
Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting; coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.
Having bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils; using eye drops to try to mask these signs.
Skipping class; declining grades; suddenly getting into trouble at school.
Missing money, valuables, or prescriptions.
Acting uncharacteristically isolated, withdrawn, angry, or depressed.
Dropping one group of friends for another; being secretive about the new peer group.
Loss of interest in old hobbies; lying about new interests and activities.
Demanding more privacy; locking doors; avoiding eye contact; sneaking around.


 EFFECTS OF DRUGS/SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

Young people who persistently abuse substances often experience an array of problems, including academic difficulties, health-related problems (including mental health), poor peer relationships, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Additionally, there are consequences for family members, the community, and the entire society.

Declining grades, absenteeism from school and other activities, and increased potential for dropping out of school are problems associated with adolescent substance abuse. a low level of commitment to education and higher truancy rates appear to be related to substance use among adolescents. Cognitive and behavioural problems experienced by alcohol- and drug-using youth may interfere with their academic performance and also present obstacles to learning for their classmates

Physical health

Injuries due to accidents (such as car accidents), physical disabilities and diseases, and the effects of possible overdoses are among the health-related consequences of teenage substance abuse. A huge numbers of youth involved with alcohol and other drugs face an increased risk of death through suicide, homicide, accident, and illness. Some of the illness associated with drugs includes:

These limited examples illustrate the catastrophic health-related consequences of substance abuse among adolescents. Besides personal and family distress, additional healthcare costs and loss of future productivity place burdens on the community.

Tolerance and physical dependency will develop with continued use. The abuser will experience withdrawal symptoms which is extremely unpleasant if he quits. This include: muscle and joint pain, fever, sweats, chills, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

Mental health

Mental health problems such as depression, developmental lags, apathy, withdrawal, and other psychosocial dysfunctions frequently are linked to substance abuse among adolescents. Others include:

Slowed breathing or Increased Heart rate

Substance-abusing youth are at higher risk than nonusers for mental health problems, including depression; conduct problems, personality disorders, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and suicide. Marijuana use, which is prevalent among youth, has been shown to interfere with short-term memory, learning, and psychomotor skills.

Motivation and psychosexual/emotional development also may be influenced

Substance-abusing youth often are alienated from and stigmatized by their peers. Adolescents using alcohol and other drugs also often disengage from school and community activities, depriving their peers and communities of the positive contributions they might otherwise have made.

In addition to personal adversities, the abuse of alcohol and other drugs by youth may result in family crises and jeopardize many aspects of family life, sometimes resulting in family dysfunction. Both siblings and parents are profoundly affected by alcohol- and drug-involved youth . Substance abuse can drain a family's financial and emotional resources .

The social and economic costs related to youth substance abuse are high. They result from the financial losses and distress suffered by alcohol- and drug-related crime victims, increased burdens for the support of adolescents and young adults who are not able to become self-supporting, and greater demands for medical and other treatment services for these youth.

Substance-abusing youth often are alienated from and stigmatized by their peers. Adolescents using alcohol and other drugs also often disengage from school and community activities, depriving their peers and communities of the positive contributions they might otherwise have made.

In addition to personal adversities, the abuse of alcohol and other drugs by youth may result in family crises and jeopardize many aspects of family life, sometimes resulting in family dysfunction. Both siblings and parents are profoundly affected by alcohol- and drug-involved youth . Substance abuse can drain a family's financial and emotional resources.

The social and economic costs related to youth substance abuse are high. They result from the financial losses and distress suffered by alcohol- and drug-related crime victims, increased burdens for the support of adolescents and young adults who are not able to become self-supporting, and greater demands for medical and other treatment services for these youth.

Substance abuse and delinquent behaviour are strongly correlated and often bring about school and family problems. Substance abuse is associated with both violent and income-generating crimes by youth. This increases fear among community residents and the demand for juvenile and criminal justice services, thus increasing the burden on these resources. Gangs, drug trafficking, prostitution, and growing numbers of youth homicides are among the social and criminal justice problems often linked to adolescent substance abuse.

WARNING SIGNS THAT A PERSON IS ABUSING DRUGS

Drug abusers often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. If you’re worried that a friend or family member might be abusing drugs, look for the following warning signs:

Physical warning signs of drug abuse
Behavioural signs of drug abuse
Psychological warning signs of drug abuse
Warning Signs of Commonly Abused Drugs
Warning signs of teen drug abuse

While experimenting with drugs doesn’t automatically lead to drug abuse, early use is a risk factor for developing more serious drug abuse and addiction. Risk of drug abuse also increases greatly during times of transition, such as changing schools, moving, or divorce. The challenge for parents is to distinguish between the normal, often volatile, ups and downs of the teen years and the red flags of substance abuse. These include:

CONCLUSION.

Drugs and Substance abuse continue to have serious impact on our Society. No one is spared as drug effects ravage the social, health and economic spheres of our society. Youths continue to be vulnerable to the vice both as a user (abusers) and sellers. It is only our concerted efforts that will enable us manage this phenomenon that is almost becoming a national crisis.