CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON YOUTH

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the study

Alcohol consumption dates back to time immemorial in the history of man. In traditional Nigerian societies, alcohol consumption was gender and age based. It was mainly consumed by adult males in social engagements. Customs andtraditions regulated production and consumption of locally made alcoholic drinks. Though, young people in a fewcommunities were permittedto drink, this was usually in the presence of adults who monitored the quantity they consumed Emeka, (2013). Alcoholconsumption was not a daily affair and it was restricted for use in religious rituals, marriageceremonies, kingship enthronements, cultural festivals and child namingceremonies. Even on these occasions, excess consumption among adults was culturally controlled. Elders would drink first, served by the younger members of the tribe and because the wine was not produced in commercial quantities,this often meant that little would be left for the latter group.This trend was altered in Nigeria following the Group Changing Patterns of Alcohol Consumptionin Nigeria with the influx of European slave traders and their ‗trade spirit‘ in the fifteenth century. The fact that alcohol was not new to the indigenous people, theinfluence of the Western traders popularized the sale of liquor and facilitated alcohol abuse. This trend was sustained during the colonial era and beyond, leading to the establishment of the first Brewery (Nigerian Brewery limited presently known as Nigerian Breweries or NB Plc.) in 1946.This signified,a new trend, in alcohol consumption in the country. In more recent years, there have been some striking changes in the patterns ofconsumption, brought about by the development of the socio-political and economicstructures of the countryGotman, (2008). Consumption is no longer solely regulated by customof the people and it is no longer reserved for social gatherings or entertainments of guests alone. The 2 patterns of use, the users and reason(s) for consumption arechanging rapidly, especially among young drinkers.A sharp contrast from what hitherto existed is the alcohol contestamong Youths in bars, restaurants, drinking joints, hotels and nightclubs that are strategically located near various places in Nigeria. This has serious implications because researches have revealed that parents and siblings are terribly affected by the drinking behaviour of young people. This perceived as a serious malady and its consequences are diverse and transcend beyond the alcoholic persons/ individuals to affect relatives, friends,neighbours and the society alike. In osun state, alcohol consumption is recognized as an important cultural aspect of all ceremonial occasions from the celebration of a child‘s birth, wedding and funerals.Apart from the festive season drinking during events, there is the usual recreational drinking that occurs during leisure time on weekends.This particular activity is however, having disastrous effects on the lives of the young, old, rich and poor, men and women as well as successful business men, skilled mechanics, laborers, home makers and Church members of all denominations. Sad as this may be, majority of the perpetrators are the Youths.The Youths who persistently abuse alcohol seem to be going through an array of problems. This has remained a source of worry to parents, schools, society and even the government because of the attendant behaviour that usually follow itGotman, (2008).

Statement of the Problem

Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive deadly social disease related to continuous consumption of alcoholic drinks and in which genetic, psychosocial, economical and environmental factors correlate to its development and manifestation, (office of applied studies, substance abuse and mental health service administration, 2002). It has been identified as one of the most important risk factors of non-communicable diseases and the third largest global disease burden risk factors. According to WHO, 2014 estimates, 4 percent of all deaths worldwide are alcohol related problems; this account for 2.5 million deaths, with over 320,000 between 18 and 35 years of age. The United Nations drug program control (2012) revealed that the overa ll use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine among the Youths is on the decline but the proportion of Youths continuing to partake in excessive alcohol consumption across drinking places remain troubling. The impact of alcohol abuse among the Youths has been considered a moral decadent and has made the face of the Youths rough and brought shame to the society.Hanks, (2011) There is no doubt that civilization and science have increased the number of alcoholic drinkssuch as spirits, beer and wine in the society. Based on this, many people especially Youths now indulge in alcoholic drinking.Majority consume it without control while others have made it part of their lives Peter, (2002). The trend is such that, some see it as an alternative to foodKazah, (2002). Some young adults indulge in it mostly for ego assertion, the desire to be independent, to reduce frustration, to relieve boredom, fatigue and help them escape the harsh realities of their world. Against this background, the Youths are always

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Updated: 21st December 2019 — 6:36 pm

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