FACE THE FACTS: DESTROYING ILLICIT BREWS IS PHASE ONE, MOVE TO THE REHAB & ASSIMILATION PHASE NOW!

News of the four men who were hospitalised at Nyahururu District Hospital after they collapsed on Sunday for not accessing their usual 'kutoa lock' drink due to dehydration are quite unfortunate. The incident followed the destruction of 50,000 bottles of second generation alcohol in an exercise led by their area MP Wachira Karani. This follows the news of a Kieni man who dug his own grave next to his brother's after drinking spree saying that he would also like to be buried there as he too would die like his brother who was knocked dead by a lorry while drunk. It is good to add that these are just the few cases that are lucky to be reported. There are hundreds or even thousands of such people now suffering in silence but calling out for help. Those are not good signs. They are indicators of a people who need help. What such fellas need now is to undergo rehabilitation and be guided on the recovery process. The government should immediately start rehabilitation centres for those suffering from addiction of alcohol if they want to win this war against killer brews. Noone should expect these people to stop without help. It doesn’t work that way at all. Treatment, support and new coping skills are needed to overcome addiction to alcohol or drugs. They need treatment to substance use to address the individual’s physical, psychological, emotional and social conditions. Sustained reduction in alcohol or other drug use and sustained increases in personal health and social function are the primary goals. After rehab, life would be quite challenging if we don't apply and set up proper mechanisms to assimilate them back into the society otherwise they will end up going back into alcoholism. And this where the NYS programmes comes in. The government, through the Devolution Ministry, county administration officers and all elected, religious and community leaders should be now busy working out programmes to identify those who need help and take over the rehabilitation exercise. They should be now equiping the victims of these menace with the tools to combat the temptations that may present themselves now and after the rehabilitation process. When they are fully recovered, they should be enrolled in the NYS and equipped with technical skills to prepare them for the job market. Identifying and destroying the illicit stuff is just one phase of the programme. Rehabilitating and assimilating these guys is the next but most important. This programme is now behide schedule. We should not wait any longer. Now is the time. Better late than sorry. Take action!

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