Vincent Odhiambo a 24-year-old man in Kibra has been chewing miraa for the past 3 years and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
“When I take miraa Miraa, I’m very psyched to take up some hard laboring jobs as opposed to when I’m not chewing .” Said, Vincent
His story is not different from Abdala Yusuf’s who alludes that he started chewing miraa out of peer pressure.
“It was when I didn’t have a job. Before long I was addicted to Miraa, I would find myself staying out late to hang out with friends as we enjoyed it” He affirmed.
Susan, not her real name, has been chewing Miraa for two years now after her husband introduced her to the recreational drug.
“I have two children and my husband does not mind that I chew miraa as he is also a user,” She said.
A study released earlier this month by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) said miraa and Muguka are some of the leading drugs abused by more than 960,000 Kenyans aged 15-65 years.
NACADA’S chief executive officer (CEO) Victor Okioma insisted miraa is a drug that causes many disorders and asked Kenyans to stay away from it. To the users in Kibra, this appears to be a sound bite warning that they won’t take seriously.
A closer look at Vincent’s teeth reveals how they are slowly but surely discolored. I could not independently link this predicament to his addiction. Studies however link the discoloration of teeth to Miraa use. A 2015 research by Moi University found that tooth problems such as discoloration arise from chewing miraa with other substances and factors such as dental hygiene. The study further suggested that non-chewers have better oral hygiene than chewers.
Dr. Timothy Mutua from Nebtim medical center in Kibra receives many patients at the facility who suffer from the effects of chewing miraa. According to Dr. Mutua, Some of the effects of Miraa include bleeding gums due to the accumulation of Miraa particles, disturbance of the salivary gland causing tooth cavity, corrosion of teeth, bad odor from the mouth, throat ulceration, sensitive teeth, and low sex drive.
He has urged residents to abhor the drug as it is dangerous.
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Edited by Henix Obuchunju