Prevention of Substance use among Adolescents

  Beginning Nov 2017, the African Institute for Children Studies, in collaboration with the Global Center for Applied Health Research (GC-AHR) and the Center for Child Well-Being (CCWB) at Arizona State University, are implementing an evidence based substance use prevention intervention among adolescents aged between 10-12years. The project aims at implementing existing evidence informed, school-based intervention, that has been proven efficacious in drug and substance use prevention among young people. The intervention - keepin’ it REAL (kiR) - was developed by researchers from Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) – a constituent of School of Social Work in Arizona State University.

It was designed for Latino youths and has been tested through randomized controlled trials in six cities and three countries: Phoenix Arizona, Montevideo in Uruguay and in four cities in Mexico. keepin’ it REAL (kiR) is culturally-grounded substance use prevention curriculum for grades 6-9 that has been proven effective for reducing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and increasing anti-drug attitudes and beliefs. kiR also enhances life skills such as decision-making and interpersonal communication.

This curriculum will help youth learn how to assess the social situation in which substances are being offered, decide which resistances strategy will be most effective, and employ that strategy to resist using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. kiR includes 10 lessons and 4 videos that were developed by kids and for kids.
The proposed project will pilot the evidence based intervention in two schools in Nairobi, Kenya to determine its efficaciousness and cultural adaptability.

Between the period January and June 2018, a needs assessment will be conducted to inform the design of the pilot study. The intervention research will be conducted between Nov 2018 and Oct 2019 in four primary schools in Mavoko and Embakasi East Sub-Counties.


- kiR -

Aims to teach students how to use the four resistance strategies:

REAL: R - Refuse  |  E - Explain  |  A - Avoid  |  L - Leave 

that have been found to be commonly used among youth in preventing substance use


This project is implemented in collaboration with the National Authority for Control of Alcohol and Drugs Abuse Control NACADA.