Canopy of Hope addiction &Dignified Recovery Path

Drug addiction is a complex disease. It is a chronic, relapsing brain disease and involves a combination of ecological, physiological and historical factors. It is not voluntary behaviour and is often fatal illness.

At Canopy of hope, we focus on offering dignified recovery and healing of addiction through drug screening counselling sessions and interactive activities to help you heal and prevent relapse.

The canopy of Hope Treatment and rehabilitation centres is affordable for the majority of Kenyans. We operate under National Standards by NACADA treatment and counselling.

The addiction treatment at the canopy of hope spreads over a duration of 90 days. The first 30 days our patients undergo the orientation, self-awareness, psycho-education, and spiritual steps to lay the foundation towards recovery.

After that, the patient undergoes 30- 60 days of self-concept, personal inventory, psycho-education science of addiction and life skills. This encompasses a variety of approaches which may include psychoeducation, group therapy, family therapy, specific behaviour therapies to prevent relapse, involvement with a self-help group, residence in a therapeutic community or halfway house, vocational and survival skills training. There is an expectation of social reintegration into the wider community.

On discharge, it entails structured 3 months aftercare and individual sessions. It involves a broad range of community-based service supports designed to maintain benefits when structured treatment has been completed. It may involve a continuation of individual or group counseling and other supports like self -help groups.

Four out of every 100 people who lost their lives in Kenya in 2016 did so as a result of alcohol abuse, the most recent report on the subject says.

The report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday also shows that alcohol consumption has become alarmingly routine among minors.

Use of illicit brews commonly referred to as “changaa” or “kumi kumi” remained predictably high, at 37 per cent of all the alcohol consumed.

In Kenya, the prevalence of alcohol use disorders was at 4 per cent, that of alcohol dependence at 1.4 per cent, and that of harmful use of alcohol at 2.6 per cent of the entire population.


WHO says the overall burden of disease and injuries caused by harmful use of alcohol is unacceptably high.

And it is worried that the alcohol pandemic is preventing affected populations from achieving a number of health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those for maternal and child health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and mental health, injuries and poisonings.

“Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries (including road accidents), mental health problems, poisoning and diseases like cancer and stroke,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, in a press release sent to newsrooms. He adds: “It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies.”


The report also considers the disease burden attributable to high-risk alcohol use. Of all deaths attributable to alcohol, 28 per cent were due to injuries, such as those from traffic crashes, self-harm and interpersonal violence; 21 per cent due to digestive disorders; 19 per cent due to cardiovascular diseases, and the remainder due to infectious illnesses, cancers and mental disorders, among others.

Around the world, according to the analysis by WHO, more than three million people died as a result of alcohol use. This means one out of any 20 deaths reported that year around the globe was as a result of an alcohol-related malady.

Of all these deaths, more than three quarters were among men. Globally, an estimated 237 million men and 46 million women suffer from alcohol-use disorders.


But startlingly also, worldwide, more than a quarter, or 27 per cent of all 15—19-year-olds, are current drinkers.

For Kenya, the survey found that there was prevalence of heavy episodic drinking among 14 of all 100 15-19 year olds.

The data contained in WHO’s Global Status Report on alcohol and health 2018, says research is now showing that generally the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5 per cent of the global disease burden.

According to the report, Kenyans above the age of 15 recorded a total alcohol per capita consumption (APC) of 3.4 litres in pure alcohol. That is to say that every single Kenyan (including those that do not drink) above the age of 15 imbibed those many litres of pure alcohol in 2016 — the year under study. This translates to 14.1 litres of pure alcohol for drinkers only.

Kenyans’ average daily intake in grammes of pure alcohol was 30.4 grammes that year.

This is only a few grammes shy of the global average daily consumption of people who drink alcohol, which was 33 grammes of pure alcohol a day; roughly equivalent to two glasses (each of 150ml) of wine, a large (750ml) bottle of beer or two shots (each of 40ml) of spirits.

Of the kinds of alcohol Kenyans consumed, 39.8 per cent was made up of beer, 37 per cent by ‘others’ which predominately comprise the illicit brews often known locally as “changaa” or “kumi kumi”, 21.4 per cent spirits and 1.8 per cent by wine.

Men drank five times more alcohol than women.


The report paints a grim picture of the toll that alcohol consumption has had on public health and the disease burden attributable to the alcohol pandemic globally.

WHO prescribes what countries   ought to do to reduce this burden. To this end, the organisation has launched an initiative dubbed SAFER, proposing strategies that governments can adopt to support them take practical steps to reduce harmful use of alcohol, accelerate progress on health, and beat non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Some of the suggestions include taxing alcohol and restricting advertising.

Global consumption was predicted to increase in the next 10 years.


How much alcohol are people drinking around the world? School surveys indicate that, in many countries, alcohol use starts before the age of 15, with very small differences between boys and girls.

Worldwide, 45 per cent of the total recorded alcohol consumption is in the form of spirits. Beer is the second alcoholic beverage in terms of pure alcohol consumed (34 per cent), followed by wine (12 per cent).

Restrictions needed

“All countries can do much more to reduce the health and social costs of the harmful use of alcohol,” said Dr Vladimir Poznyak, coordinator of WHO’s Management of Substance Abuse Unit. “Proven, cost-effective actions include increasing taxes on alcoholic drinks, bans or restrictions on alcohol advertising, and restricting the physical availability of alcohol.”


Higher-income countries are more likely to have introduced these policies, raising issues of global health equity and underscoring the need for greater support to low- and middle-income countries like Kenya.

Almost all (95 per cent) countries have alcohol excise taxes, but fewer than half of them use other price strategies such as banning below-cost selling or volume discounts.

The majority of countries have some type of restriction on beer advertising, with total bans most common for television and radio but less common for the Internet and social media.

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behaviour could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviours can be an early warning sign of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Mental Health and Wellness

Positive mental health allows people to:

  • Realize their full potential
  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Work productively
  • Make meaningful contributions to their communities

Ways to maintain positive mental health include:

  • Getting professional help if you need it
  • Connecting with others
  • Staying positive
  • Getting physically active
  • Helping others
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.

PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II. But PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, in people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age.

PTSD is, traditionally, thought to occur among soldiers who have experienced disturbing events in war. PTSD can occur in civilians after other life events. Some of these life events are not universally traumatic but can be challenging (in other words, different people can experience the same terrifying event but only one or two will develop PTSD). PTSD can develop a few weeks, months or even years after a disturbing event.

Events that could lead to PTSD

Childbirth: Labour and childbirth can be very traumatising. This is often the case if a mother develops complications or if she delivers a child with health problems. A woman can also develop PTSD if healthcare workers treat her inappropriately during childbirth.

Road traffic accidents: Accidents in which one nearly loses their lives or where one gets severely injured or disabled can lead to development of PTSD. It can also develop if one is involved in an accident where others lose their lives.

Robbery/Mugging: Violent robbery tends to leave one feeling violated and vulnerable. It has also been known to lead to PTSD.

Sexual assault: Rape and defilement often has a lifelong effect on the victim. In most cases, one is not able to completely put the event out of one’s mind. It is one of the most common causes of PTSD.

Child abuse: Most children are not able to voice their complaints if they are being abused. However, it is not unusual for them to develop long-term effects of this abuse.

Witnessing violent deaths: This is a common cause of PTSD among soldiers deployed for military combat. Most cannot get the violent scenes of the battlefield out of their minds (even years after they leave the military).

Unexpected loss of a loved one: The death of a loved one is very traumatising — especially if it was violent. It can be disturbing if you witness their demise.

Terrorist attacks: Events involving terrorism and being held hostage could lead to lifelong trauma. Ideally, anyone involved in a terrorist attack should undergo counselling to help deal with the emotions and long term mental effects of this situation.

Natural disasters: Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes etc are all terrifying events that can lead to long-term mental anguish.

Children born into families with a history of addiction or abuse are at increased risks for substance use disorders later in life. They must overcome genetic predispositions, familial influences and chaotic environments. The odds are against them, and the statistics say most of them are destined to become addicts. But some children, despite all obstacles in their path, overcome the odds and live a life free of addiction.

Some children are born with so many risk factors for addiction it would seem they’re predetermined to become addicts. But most experts agree no combination of variables will condemn a person to a life of addiction. Rather, each risk factor increases their chances of trying drugs and getting hooked.

The one major risk factor that shows up time and time again is stress. If you’re in an environment as a child or adolescent with very high stress, regardless of what’s causing the stress, then your likelihood of turning to drugs of abuse during your life goes up substantially.

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Some people are genetically predisposed to be more susceptible to addiction. Despite the myth that addiction is a choice, science doesn’t lie. Decades of research prove drug addiction runs in families.

Limiting exposure to traumatic, dangerous and stressful situations is also key.

If there’s some way to get in there and either diminish the stress exposure that an individual is going through or help them build stress management skills, then you have already pushed them down the path away from substance use in a major, major way.

If you have a family history of addiction to drugs including alcohol, you can be one of the resilient individuals by making a conscience effort to:

  • No one is destined for addiction.
  • Everyone controls their own life.
  • It takes more work for some people than others, but addiction is a preventable and curable disease.
  • The temptation may never go away, and it won’t always be easy.
  • But everyone can control their own fate if they just keep trying.
  • Ready to make a change?

Parents who know they have a family history of addiction can decrease their child’s risk for addiction by taking several actions:

  • Set an example by avoiding alcohol or drug use in front of children.
  • Communicate strong, clear messages about the dangers of alcohol and drug use.
  • Keep alcohol and drugs away from the home.
  • Learn about their friends and their attitudes on drugs.
  • Talk to the parents of their friends about anti-drug messages.
  • Chaperone or supervise social functions to ensure drugs are not present.
  • Introduce them to healthy activities and hobbies.

Over the years, psychologists and researchers have identified about 400 to 600 coping strategies, and yet there are so many other potential coping strategies that are still under research. Because of this, the classifications of coping strategies vary from textbook to textbook.

One of the recognized groupings of coping strategies is that which was written in the psychology textbook by Weiten, which includes the appraisal-focused or adaptive cognitive, the problem-focused or adaptive behavioural, and the emotion-focused.

Many psychologists also contributed to the study of coping mechanisms by grouping mechanisms or strategies according to their manifestations and purposes. In general, here are the general classifications of coping mechanisms:

  1. the appraisal-focused strategies are those coping mechanisms which involve the change of mindset or a revision of thoughts. Denial is the most common coping mechanism under this category.
  2. the problem-focused strategies are those that modify the behaviour of the person. A good example of this is learning how to cook a family dinner upon knowing that your spouse’s family would come over your house this weekend.
  3. the emotion-focused strategies include the alteration of one’s emotions to tolerate or eliminate the stress. Examples include distraction, meditation, and relaxation techniques.
  • Defence – the unconscious ways of coping stress. Examples: reaction formation, regression
  • Adaptive -tolerate stress. Examples: altruism, symbolization
  • Avoidance -keeps self away from the stress. Examples: denial, dissociation, fantasy, passive aggression, reaction formation.
  • Attack – diverts one’s consciousness to a person or group of individuals other than the stressor or the stressful situation. Examples: displacement, emotionality, projection.
  • Behavioural – modifies the way we act in order to minimize or eradicate the stress. Examples: compensation, sublimation, undoing.
  • Cognitive – alters the way we think so that stress is reduced or removed. Examples: compartmentalization, intellectualization, rationalization, repression, suppression.
  • Self-harm – intends to harm self as a response to stress. Examples: introjection, self-harming
  • Conversion – changes one thought, behaviour or emotion into another. Example: somatisation.

Most of us develop certain habits that act as coping mechanisms and outlets for stress. To beat stress, it is essential to overcome coping mechanisms in order to meet stress directly. You can then beware of the inherent cause of your stress, whether it’s your response to some challenge, or perhaps the path that you are taking on your innermost feelings. This enables you to address issues directly, rather than allowing them to go off by avoiding the root cause through some form of distraction, or coping mechanism.

A coping mechanism is a type of addiction. Like most habits, coping mechanisms have an addictive quality to them; we feel some degree of compulsion toward them, and we experience some level of difficulty in resisting them. We tend to use a coping mechanism as a distraction, a solace that we lean on as a way of avoiding stress. These activities, then, are no longer true choices that we make but, rather, insentient habits that often prevent us from dealing directly with depression and are therefore detrimental to our well-being.

Addictions can take many forms, both clear and tenuous. Some are clearly harmful, such as dependence on alcohol, prescription or recreational drugs, gambling, or dysfunctional eating. Almost anything can become an addiction, though, from watching TV to exercise, computer use, work, or even socializing. While these may not immediately appear to be destructive, on a very real level they encroach on your time, sap your attention, and prevent you from living fully. Even something as natural and enjoyable as sex can become an addiction and exhibit these characteristics. These habits do not generate any true joy but instead are a source of obsession that constantly needs to be satisfied.

Mental and emotional patterns that have an addictive quality are equally as important to address, though they may be harder to recognize on our own. This is a key role for an objective, wise outsider. Whether that be a trusted friend, family member, doctor, or therapist, someone both caring and impartial can help bring to light destructive psychological tendencies so that they can be dealt with. Until we are aware of our addictions, we are slaves to them, and we will continue to sabotage ourselves and our progress.

Start by observing where and how you spend your time. Consider the activities you turn to when you are stressed or uncomfortable. Ask yourself if the way you engage in these activities has an addictive or habitual pattern to it and if you are letting destructive behavior control your life. If you discover certain activities or psychological patterns that are destructive or feel more “addictive” or like a “release” than they do joyful, then make it your goal to gradually free yourself from these addictions. ings.

Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illiness

The symptoms of mental illnesses vary greatly depending on the condition. For example, someone with depression may experience decreased energy and trouble sleeping while someone with an eating disorder may binge and purge.

All mental illnesses share this in common: they are associated with significant distress or interfere with a person’s ability to function.

In order to meet the criteria for mental illness, generally, an individual’s symptoms must interfere with their social, occupational or educational functioning.

Everyone experiences peaks and valleys in their mental health. A stressful experience, such as the loss of a loved one, might temporarily diminish your psychological well-being. But that doesn’t mean you’re mentally ill. Most mental illnesses require that the symptoms last for a certain period of time, such as two weeks.

Some individuals have insight into their illness and recognize that they’re experiencing a problem. Someone with an anxiety disorder, for example, will likely recognize that their symptoms are affecting their everyday life.

However, someone who has a psychotic disorder may not realize that their thoughts are distorted.

In general terms, common symptoms of mental illness may include things such as:

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Withdrawal
  • Unexplained physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in mood

Each mental illness has a different set of symptoms, but they tend to involve changes in thinking, mood, and behaviour. If you suspect that you or a loved one has a mental illness it’s important to speak with a specialist about your concerns.

Addiction Treatment

The Canopy of Hope addiction treatment includes a range of phases and interventions that can help you recover from substance use disorder, as well as help relief for loved ones. Rather than offering a cookie-cutter approach, our addiction treatment is always tailored to the distinctive needs of the patient.

The Addiction Treatment Process
Whether you’re dealing with a drug or alcohol problem, or a behavioral addiction such as gambling, gaming, or sex; Canopy of Hope addiction treatment have a process of healing on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. How long this process takes rest on a number of factors, including your primary substance of use, any co-occurring mental health disorders you may have, and how long you have been actively addicted.

addiction treatment

Canopy of Hope treatment process happens in stages, with each stage designed to help you continue working on recovery as you grow and change. Throughout this process, a team of addiction counselors, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and psychologists will be there to create your individualized treatment plan and aftercare plan, and to provide ongoing, expert support from day to day.

Drug and Alcohol Detox
Stopping substance use altogether is, of course, the first step in the addiction treatment process. If you’ve abused drugs or alcohol on an ongoing basis, you probably already know how difficult it can be to desist from using for prolonged time periods. A professional drug and alcohol detox provides you with the treatment supports needed to make it through this difficult stage. These supports can vary depending on the severity of your addiction.
It’s not rare for people coming off severe substance addiction disorder to develop serious psychological problems as a result of drug use, or for drug use to begin as a way to self-medicate preexistent psychological problems. No matter which issue came first, having co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders requires specialized treatment that targets all sides of all problems in a comprehensive approach.
Addiction recovery doesn’t end when the treatment program ends, but rather continues to provide adaptable levels of support to help you maintain continued abstinence while increasing your independence. For this reason, your addiction program counselor will prepare an aftercare plan based on your individual situation and goals, with resources that you can turn to occasionally or often, depending on your current challenges and level of need.

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Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse
Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is when one takes alcohol, prescription medicine, cigarettes, and other legal substances excessively or in the wrong way.  Substance-abuse is not limited to abusing legal drugs it also extends to when someone uses illicit drugs like Bhang and other banned substances in Kenya. National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) revealed a shocking 23.3 percent of Kenyans are abusing at least one drug.

Substance abuse differs from addiction. Many people who abuse substance are able to quit or can change their unhealthy behavior. Addiction, on the other hand, is a disease.  It means you have developed a habit that is hard to quit without intervention of somebody else.


When one uses psychoactive substances a dependence syndrome develops where they have a strong desire to take that substance and have problems controlling its uses.  If substance abuse is in that level the individual will require help to heal addiction and guidance so they will not relapse after recovery. Canopy of Hope offers dignified addiction recovery and treating substance abuse disorders.

Commonly Abused Drugs in Kenya

Both legal and illegal drugs have chemicals that can alter how your body and mind work. They give you “pleasurable” ease your stress or help you avoid problems in your life. People who are stressed or struggling with other issues in life are most likely to abuse substances to escape reality, this may lead to substance abuse disorders.


Alcohol affects everyone differently. If, you drink excessively and make it a habit, your chance of an injury or accident and eventually suffering from alcoholism are high. Heavy drinking also associated with liver and other health problems or lead to a more serious alcohol disorder. Alcohol is among the most abused drug in Kenya.

According to NACADA Substance Abuse Report 2017, 12.2% 0f Kenyans aged 15-65 are constantly using alcohol. Current use of alcohol is defined as those reporting use lcohol in the last one month. About 16.6% of urban dwellers are current users of various types of alcohol compared to 11.4% of rural dwellers.

Effects of alcohol Abuse

  • Failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school, or home
  • Driving a car or operating machinery will cause accidents leading to injuries or death.
  • Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of liver failure. Alcohol drug can cause heart enlargement and cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, and stomach.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine

These can be just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs. You can abuse medicine if you:

  • Take medicine prescribed for someone else
  • Take extra doses or use a drug other than the way it’s supposed to be taken
  • Take the drug for a non-medical reason

Types of prescription drugs that are most often abused include:

  • pain relievers
  • Medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Anxiety medicine

The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold medicine that have dextromethorphan, which in high doses can make one feel drunk or intoxicated.

There were 1,338 drug-related deaths in Kenya in 2016, as per a review of drug abuse data by Nation Newsplex. The leading cause of the deaths was Opioid abuse a drug used as a pain reliever.


 This group of substances includes solvents that emit vapors, causing intoxication when breathed in (inhaled). Individuals who abuse inhalants intentionally breathe in the vapors, either directly from a container, from a bag in which such a substance is in, or from a rag soaked with the substance and then placed over the mouth or nose.

Inhalants may lead to chemical and temperature burns, as well as withdrawal symptoms, chronic mental illness, and even sudden death. Long-term damage associated with inhalant users includes brain and nerve damage as well as heart, liver, or kidney failure.


Bhang affects the perception of time, distance, and speed. It upsets coordination, causing unsteady hands, a change in gait, uncontrolled laughter, and a lag between thought and facial expressions. Sexual functions are disturbed.

One may suffer illusions and hallucinations, difficulty in recalling events in the immediate past, slowed thinking and narrowed attention span, depersonalization, euphoria, depression, drowsiness, lack of sleep, difficulty in making accurate self-evaluation, a lowering of inhibition, loss of judgment, mental and physical lethargy.

The following are most often substances are abused in Kenya.

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Tobacco
  • Prescription drugs 
  • Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Inhalants

Substance use disorders can lead to multiple behavioral problems, both in the short- and long-term. These effects of drug abuse have serious consequences, like missed work, punishable offenses, accidents, and injuries. Drug abuse may lead one to commit offenses like domestic violence, driving while intoxicated and offenses related to damaged property.

Abusing drugs poses huge risks for pregnant women and unborn babies. Drugs may contain impurities that can be harmful to an unborn baby. Drug use can lead to premature birth or low birth weight.

The most severe health consequences of drug abuse is death.