Alcohol and drug addicts have welcomed the move by the government to tighten laws that seek to restrict the sale and consumption of illicit brews and drugs in order to rescue them from the menace.
This comes as the government reiterates its commitment to invest in rehabilitation centres as the primary step to saving the young generation who have been trapped by the menace.
Over 150 youths from Mukurwe-ini Sub-county flocked at Gikondi Gospel Outreach Church to mark the International Day against drugs and substance abuse which was being commemorated worldwide.
26-year-old Irene Kendi (not her real name) is a mother of one and she is struggling with her addiction. She says that she started drinking immediately after clearing high school and she is so deep into alcohol abuse that she does not even care about the welfare of her young daughter.
"I have struggled with this menace and that is why I relocated from my home county Meru with the hope of quitting drinking but I always find myself falling back into the trap every time I try quitting. I no longer care about the welfare of my daughter as the burden is with her grandmother. How can I cater for her needs if all I earn from the vibaruas goes to drinking?" She posed.
Kendi says that her situation has been so bad to the extent of exchanging her shoes for cheap liquor in order to quench her thirst. She now says if help comes her way, she is ready to be rehabilitated and start a new life.
"I'm urging the government to rescue us from this menace first by tightening the laws of selling the illicit liquor and drugs and also take those of us who want to reform to the rehabilitation centres," she said.
Karoki Kihara, a recovering addict, attributes the vice to influence from bad friends and joblessness but says that he is hopeful to get a job that will enable him to eke a living and live a drug and alcohol-free life.
"We want the government to implement tougher laws to enable us to work again. I was earning a stable income before I was addicted to alcohol but I'm hopeful I will recover again," he said.
The youth now claim the existing laws are irritant to them as they are unable to quit the vice due to availability but with tougher laws they will be able to restrain themselves.
Mukurwe-ini Member of Parliament John Kaguchia says in his bid to rescue the young men and women who want to quit the vice, he will incorporate them in the NGCDF projects such as road construction and refurbishing of classrooms.
"We will ensure job creation to those who are willing to reform through the NGCDF projects to ensure that our youth are stable once they quit the vice," he said.
He also said that those struggling with the addiction and would want to quit will be rehabilitated at the government rehabilitation institutions in Ihururu and Karia both in Tetu and Nyeri Town constituencies respectively.
Lawmakers from the Nyeri County Assembly also said that they will join hands with the government to pass any proposed law that will aid in curbing drug and substance abuse.
"As leaders, we should partner in creating job opportunities for those who are recovering and those willing to reform as joblessness is a major contributing factor to abuse of drugs and alcohol," nominated MCA Karanja Maina said.
The leaders said they are committed to ensuring the reformists will not relapse by ensuring that they join the available TVET institutions to gain skills that will enable them to start their lives afresh.