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Impacts of Alcoholism on Family Welfare Essay

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CHAPTER ONE 1. 0 Introduction 1. 1 Introduction This chapter contains the background of the problem, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, justification of the study, limitations of the study, the scope of the study and the conceptual framework. 1. 2 Background to the Problem Seventy percent of Kenyan families are affected by alcoholism (Simiyu, 2006). Man has, over time, indeed come to acknowledge the fact that alcoholism is indeed destructive to the human race.

This explains the reason as to why numerous studies have been conducted and some are still underway in relations to various areas where alcoholism is indeed a major threat.

It is however important to note that most of these studies are mainly centered on the alcoholic. Alcoholism is a term that has many and sometimes conflicting definitions. In current and historic usage, alcoholism refers to a condition that results from continued consumption of alcohol despite the social and medical impacts that are raised by the vice.

Alcoholism also referred to, in the nineteenth century and partly in the twentieth century, as dipsomania, may also refer to pre-occupation with or compulsion towards the consumption of alcohol and/or impaired ability to recognize the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption. The Macmillan dictionary (2002) defines the word alcoholism as a medical condition that makes it difficult to control the amount of alcohol you drink. 1. 2.

0 Alcoholism The dictionary definition of alcoholism is, a disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages leading to physical and physiological harm and impaired social and vocational functionality. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research defines alcoholism as 1 a layman’s term for alcohol dependence and abuse. The medical encyclopedia defines alcoholism as a popular term for two disorders, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependent.

The definition of alcoholism adopted for this study was a disorder that involves long term, repeated, uncontrolled, compulsive and excessive use of alcoholic beverages that impairs the drinker’s health and social relations. In this study alcoholism was characterized by frequent drinking, drinking five or more days in a week.

1. 2. 1 Family Welfare The Macmillan dictionary (2002) defines a family as a group of people who live together and are all related to one another, usually consisting of parents and children. It also defines welfare as the health and happiness of people. The definition of family welfare adopted in this study encompassed physical and psychological health, finances, employment, social life and relationships Velleman, (as cited at www.alcoholandfamilies. org).

Family welfare was characterized by economy, health and safety, legal proceedings, marriage stability, responsibilities, and withdrawal. The Macmillan dictionary (2002) defines economy as the careful use of money, products or time that very little is wasted. Family economy in this study was characterized by the amount of money spent on alcohol, investment ventures and savings in respect to individual’s income. The dictionary definition of health is the condition of your body especially whether or not you are ill. Safety on the other hand refers to the fact that a thing is safe.

For purpose of this study health and safety was characterized by instances of alcohol related illness or disorders, domestic violence both on women and children attributable to alcohol, accidents or any other act done which exposed the individual to harm as a result of the influence of alcohol on the person (Alcoholic) or on the family, and psychological state. 2 Responsibility is defined by the Macmillan dictionary (2002), as a state of being in charge of someone or something and of making sure that they do or what happens to them is right or satisfactory.

In the study responsibility was characterized by instances of family roles of individuals (for example paying school fees by the parents), good physical and psychological availability for the family, work problems due to alcohol and its consequent negative impacts (Alcoholism). Marriage stability is a situation where marriage can raise up beyond the challenges which can lead to its break-up (Akem, 2009). For purpose of this study marriage stability was characterized by instances of divorce, separation, quarrels and disagreements.

Withdrawal is to no longer take part in something or stop someone from taking part (Macmillan 2002). The definition of withdrawal adopted for this study was helping the person to get rid of his/her body off alcohol as well as the harmful physical effects of alcohol, Schuckit & mace, (as cited at www. answers. com) Withdrawal in this study was characterized by attempted instances to stop alcohol consumption by either the individual or third party efforts and the respective challenges posed by the same. 1. 2.

2 Alcoholism Unmasked Up-to 50 percent of murders involves alcohol, and three or more people die in Britain due to alcohol (Holden, 1996). Approximately fourteen million people in the United States of America are alcoholics, alcohol being the third leading killer in the United States, killing twenty thousand people and injuring 1. 5 million due to drunk drivers, Drink, (as cited in Katherine, 2009). Drink also reported that 65 percent of the aggressive attacks against women involve use of alcohol by the offender with more than 60 percent of the homicides involving the use of alcohol by either the offender or the victim.

According to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) alcohol abuse affects 70 percent of families in Kenya. 3 In November 2001, over 140 people died and scores of others lost their sight after consuming an illegal laced drink. In June 2005 illegal brew laced with industrial alcohol caused the deaths of 49 people and more than 174 people were hospitalized after drinking the home made Kwona-Mbee, literally ‘see the way ahead’, brew containing methanol a toxic wood alcohol added to the concoction to give it more kick (Simiyu, 2006).

According to a study carried out by WHO (2004) involving 188 patients evaluated after motor vehicle crashes in all hospitals located in Eldoret found out that 23. 4 percent were blood alcohol concentration (BAC) positive and 12. 2 percent were intoxicated. This research work indicates the impacts of alcoholism on health and safety of the alcoholic, but they fail to mention the impacts of this disorder in the family setting. Holden (1996), states that alcohol does no good for the economy, costing the British industry 1. 7 British billion pounds.

There thus existed need to establish a clear link between family economy and alcoholism. About a third of alcoholics recover whether they are in treatment program or not, Vallant, (as cited in Santrock, 2005). Studies from the national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism (NIAAA) in United States of America indicate that of all drugs, withdrawal from alcohol differs most significantly. This is so because it can be directly fatal, with an alcoholic having no serious situations having a significant risk of dying from the direct effect of withdrawal if not managed properly.

This established the need to investigate how withdrawal as an aspect of family welfare is affected by alcoholism. One in three divorces is due to behavioral problems linked to drinking (Holden, 1996). In Kenya, most domestic misunderstandings are attributed to alcohol, (Simiyu, 2006). The study, therefore sought to find out the impact of alcohol on marriage stability. 4 1. 3 Statement of the Problem Research has shown that alcohol indeed has major impacts on the life of its victims. Indeed no man is an island; hence an alcoholic does not live in isolation.

It is therefore expected that whereas alcohol is not good for the drunkard, it is also not good for the family of the drinker. It robs them the morally upright person that they looked up to. What might be the various aspects of the family that might be affected by having an alcoholic in the family? According to Cork, (as cited at www. alcoholandfamilies. org), researchers have often shown much concern for the alcoholic, while overlooking his/her family. There was therefore need to determine the various aspects of the family that were affected by having an alcoholic in the family.

1. 4 Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to investigate and establish the nature of relationship that existed between alcoholism and various aspects of family welfare of reforming alcoholics in Suneka division, using case study research design with a view of bringing to the light the intensity of alcoholism in our society. Alcoholism was characterised by frequent drinking, drinking five or more days per week. Family welfare was characterised by family health and safety, family economy, responsibility, marriage stability, instances of legal proceedings and withdrawal.

1. 5 Research Objectives The research sought to establish the impacts of alcoholism on family welfare by specifically finding out: 1. The challenges posed by the negative impacts of alcoholism on family economy. 2. The challenges posed by the negative impacts of alcoholism on marriage stability. 3. The challenges posed by the negative impacts of alcoholism on family health and safety. 5 4. Problems associated with withdrawal from alcoholism. 5. The impacts and frequency of alcoholism influence on legal proceedings perpetrated against alcoholics within the family.

6. The link between alcoholism and neglect of responsibilities. 1. 6 Research Questions In order to establish the kind of relationship that existed between alcoholism and family welfare, the research was guided by the following research questions: 1. What are the challenges posed by the negative impacts of alcoholism on family economy? 2. What are the challenges posed by the negative impacts of alcoholism on marriage stability? 3. What are the challenges posed by the negative impacts of alcoholism on family health and safety? 4.

What are the problems associated with withdrawal from alcoholism? 5. What is the impact and frequency of alcoholism on legal proceedings perpetrated against alcoholics within the family? 6. What is the link between alcoholism and neglect of responsibilities? 1. 7 Significance of the Study The findings of the research sought to help: 1. Site out the impact of alcoholism in the local context which will act as an eye opener to the stakeholders concerned for instance the Ministry of Health, Human rights activists and the entire NGO community to see the need to help the affected parties. 2.

Occasion, as a result, setting up of appropriate programs to help curb the menace caused by alcoholism, for instance setting up a rehabilitation centre. 3. Alcoholics see the need to stop taking alcohol, having realized the pain they inflict on their families. 6 1. 8 Limitations of the Study The study was based on a sample size of 30 respondents drawn from an accessible population which consists of individuals from Suneka community in Kisii south district. Owing to scarcity of resources, precautions should therefore be taken while generalizing findings of this research to other localities.

This may be majorly due to environmental and social factors that may factor in to invalidate the findings. 1. 9 The Scope of the Study The study primarily focused on the impact of alcoholism on family welfare, a case study of Suneka division, Kisii south district, Nyanza province in Kenya. The study was based on a sample of 30 respondents and was conducted between the months of February and March 2009. 7 1. 10 Conceptual Framework ALCOHOLISM FAMILY WELFARE FAMILY HEALTH AND SAFETY MARRIAGE STABILITY FAMILY ECONOMY ALCOHOLISM RESPONSIBILITY WITHDRAWAL LEGAL IMPLICATIONS Fig.

1. 0 A conceptual framework on the relationship between alcoholism and family welfare. The study sought to find out the relationship that existed between alcoholism and components of family welfare namely: family health and safety, marriage stability, family economy, withdrawal, and the legal implications. 8 CHAPTER TWO 2. 0 Literature Review 2. 1 Introduction This chapter contains past studies in relation to alcohol and alcoholism. It has also highlighted the historical background.

It particularly focuses on the impacts of alcoholism on the economy, health and safety, legal implications, marriage stability, withdrawal and responsibilities which were the pillars of this study right from the global, continental and local point of view. It also contains the critical review and the summary. 2. 2 Past Studies This section will shade light on the historical background of alcoholism, researched impacts, and the global, continental and local implications here in Kenya. 2. 2. 0 Historical Background The word alcoholism was first introduced by a Swedish physician Magnus Huss (1849) to mean poisoning by alcohol.

It was later mentioned in France by M. Gabriel (1866) in his medical dissertation. This marked the evolution of the word alcoholism (as cited at www. asnwers. com/library/psychoanalysisdictionary). The most rigorous definition of an alcoholic (a person suffering from alcoholism) is the one provide by Pierre Fouquet, “An Alcoholic is any man or woman who has lost the ability to do without alcohol. ” The production of alcohol dates back, to around 1400-1600 BC (Before Christ), in the Munainus region between black and Caspian seas.

Commercial production of alcohol was well underway by 1500 BC, Court Wright, (as cited at www. asnwers. com/library). Alcohol is probably the oldest drug known to humanity. It was easy for the primitive people to discover that fruits and juices left to stand in warm places easily fermented to form alcoholic mixtures. Alcohol production is mainly founded on yeast cells, which in presence of warmth and 9 water continue to grow by using up the sugar until the sugar is finished or alcohol content kills them.

Alcohol is a deadly poison and in high enough quantities, it kills all living things including the yeast cells that produce it, Weil & Rosen, (as cited at www. alcoholicsanonymous. org)! It was initially believed (Sigmund Freud, Karl Abraham, Sandor Ferenczi) that alcohol does not create symptoms but only promotes them, removing inhibitions and destroying sublimation (Descombey, 2002). The theory of alcoholism (1905d) is summarized in terms of predominance among men, beginning at the onset of puberty, Sigmund, (as cited at www. answers. com/ library).

Magnus the Swedish professor of medicine distinguishes between two types of alcoholism that is, Acute alcoholism, which is due to temporary effects of alcohol taken within a short period of time- drunkenness and intoxication; Chronic alcoholism, which is a condition caused by habitual use of alcoholic beverages in poisonous amounts over a long period of time. Prior to the nineteenth century, alcoholism was seen as a moral weakness or criminal, rather than an illness. The new, “Disease” approach to alcoholism was started in America perpetrated by the, “Alcoholism movement.

” It consisted of Alcoholics Anonymous (A self help group, setup in 1935), National committee for Education on alcoholism (later The National Council on Alcoholism) and the YALE, centre for alcohol studies. The, “Alcoholism movement” Quickly spread to Britain and subsequently to the rest of the world (Heather & Robertson, 1997). According to WHO (2004) In Africa, for instance, alcohol related beverages are very predominant among ethnic groups branded in different names passed from one generation to another.

Among the common alcoholic beverages are: Chang’aa-Which is common among Samburu pastoralists living in northern Kenya and the whole of Kenya at large. In fact the word seems to have gained a national appeal in Kenya along with Busaa which are often used in Kisii among 10 the Gusii community. Others include: Palm wine (common along the Kenyan coast), banana beer (made from a fermented mixture of banana and sorghum flour) and Muratina (made from sugarcane and Muratina fruit-a fruit grown in Kenya).

Among the Gusii community, the common alcoholic beverages used from times immemorial include Chang’aa and Busaa. Chang’aa is a distilled product resulting from malted millet, maize or sorghum alongside molasses the mixture of which has been fermented for a number of days, for instance a week. The fermented malted millet, maize or sorghum mixture in its crude state (nondistilled) produces Busaa. 2. 2. 1 Global Impact 2. 2. 1. 0 Health Alcohol has raised major attention on the international ground mainly due to its negative impacts in the society.

Topping the list is the link between alcohol and its impact on health. It is important to note that alcohol on its own can cause a medical disorder known as alcoholism which was the pillar stone of this study. Studies indicate that alcoholism can arise in a genetic disorder which can be transferred to the offspring of the victim just like any other genetic disorders. It is estimated that 60 percent of those who become alcoholics are believed to have a genetic predisposition for it, Vallant, (as cited in Santrock, 2005).

Hamgin and others (1999) also reported that there is a high frequency of alcoholics in first degree relatives of alcoholics. Research has shown that alcohol damages various organs in our bodies resulting to chronic diseases. Some of these organs include: 1. The Liver: Excessive consumption of alcohol results to liver cirrhosis and liver hepatitis. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver while liver cirrhosis is a liver ailment that interferes with the liver’s normal structure and function. Both diseases can be fatal 11 2.

Blood: Excessive consumption of alcohol interferes with both the structure and function of blood. High quantities of alcohol damages red blood cells making them to become abnormally large as well as the destruction of white blood cells which results to low immunity whereas damaging of red blood cells may lead to cancer in extremities (NIAAA). The NIAAA in the United States of America suggests that a connection exists between heavy alcohol consumption and increased cancer risk. In fact 3. 56 percent cancer cases all over the world are related to alcohol drinking resulting to 3.

5 percent of all cancer deaths. 3. Heart and circulatory system: Alcohol drinking affects these body systems causing such disease as heart attacks, stroke (which arises when a blood clot from the heart enters the circulatory system into the brain blocking blood circulation in the brain) Alcohol is also not good for pregnant women for it can lead to various birth disorders such as, Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). These are permanent birth defects on off-springs of women who consume material alcohol during pregnancy (NIAAA).

Other health implications include Sexual dysfunction and epilepsy and in extremities even causing death directly. Despite the numerous researches on the implications of alcohol on health, not much has been done on the frequency of such health implications on families affected by alcoholism. However, for an alcoholic it is important to note, perhaps not for his/her sake but for the children’s sake, that if they continue the path to alcoholism they are putting their children at the exposure to this disorder since comprehensive studies have shown that children of alcoholics’ show a three-to-four times risk of developing the disorder.

Recent studies have proved that alcoholism is 40 to 60 percent attributed to genes, leaving 40 to 50 percent on environmental influences, Schuckit; Anthenelle Schuckit, (as cited in Schonbeck, 2004). Alcohol is not also good for the brain causing psychological harm in the long run with instances such 12 as depression and anxiety with as many as 25 percent of alcoholics presenting severe psychiatric disturbances. Alcohol effect reveals an overall sluggish brain activity (Revolution health, 2007). 2. 2. 1. 1 Safety Alcoholism has also raised eye blows in relation to its influence on safety in the society.

Top on this list is road accidents. Indeed in most accidents grossly impaired judgment reduced reflex activity and reduced visual perception all play their part. In the United States 41 percent of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related. On average, alcohol related motor vehicle accidents occur after every 30 minutes injuring 500,000 Americans yearly with 30 percent of all Americans involved in such accidents at one time during their life time while 50 percent of such trauma cases end up dead, (www. niaaa. nih. gov).

According to Santrock (2005), 60 percent of homicides involve use of alcohol by either the offender or victim and 20 percent of suicide cases involve use of alcohol by the victim, with 65 percent of aggressive instances against women involving the use of alcohol by the offender. Santrock also reports that alcohol increases instances of aggressiveness; to be precise alcoholics are more easily provoked when drunk than when they are sober to unleash harsh words, throw a punch or pull a trigger of a gun, Dougherty, Benelt & others; Fale-Steward, golden & Schumacher, (as cited in Santrock, 2005).

According to Seto & Barbaree (as cited in Santrock, 2005), it is unfortunate that the people who are already prone to aggression are also the ones who are likely to drink and then become violent when they become intoxicated! People under the influence of alcohol, almost commit half of the rapes and other violent crimes, Abbey, Ross& McDuffie; Abbey & others, (as cited in Santrock, 2005). All these comprehensive research focuses on the impacts of alcoholism on the alcoholic’s safety but fails to shade light on the suffering which the family has to undergo as 13 a result.

Equally most of these research findings do not bring out clearly the frequency of such hazards among families of alcoholics’. 2. 2. 1. 2 Marriage Stability It is estimated that more than 40 percent of separated or divorced women were married to or live with a problem drinker with more than three fourths of non-fatal female victims of domestic violence having reported that the assailant had been drinking (www. alcohlics-info. com). According to Holden (1996) one in every three divorces are attributed to alcohol drinking.

It is clear while alcohol seems to be a clear threat to stability in marriages it is unclear, on where exactly it impairs on marriage stability. 2. 2. 1. 3 Responsibility It is estimated that a bulk of 10 percent work force in the United Kingdom have problems due to alcohol (Holden, 1996). According to Velleman, alcohol affects the quality of parenting, although the aspects of quality of parenting are not well defined (as cited at www. alcoholandfamilies. org).

At the prime of alcoholism the alcoholic manifests an utter disregard to everything, including shelter, family, food, and job. These occasional flights into oblivion are best described, ironically, as, ‘Drinking to get away from the problems’ caused by drinking (www. alcoholics-info. com). These studies indicate a clear link between alcoholism and the role it plays in the execution of responsibilities at large but fails to pin-point the particular impact of alcoholism on family responsibilities and the frequency of the items mentioned above in a family setting.

Santrock (2005), acknowledges the fact that binge drinking, usually associated with high BAC, to be associated with class absences, physical injuries, trouble with police and unprotected sex all instances of neglect of responsibilities by children (college students) who are a unit of the family. 14 2. 2. 1. 4 Legal Implications There are at least fifty thousand recognized alcoholics in Victoria-Australia, with one-hundred thousand drunk and disorderly convictions each year (Wright, 1991). Drinking at inappropriate times can lead to legal proceedings such as Drinking and driving, beyond the legal set limits, or public disorder.

According to NIAAA (1997) forty percent of assaults are alcohol related. About 3/4 of all prisoners in 1997 were involved in alcohol or drug abuse in some way leading to their current offence (United States Department of Justice Statistics, 1997). From research already conducted there seems to be a link between alcohol and crime but on the other side no studies exists on the frequency of legal situations encountered by alcoholics in a family setting or their families or challenges faced by such families when faced by such occurrences. 2. 2. 1.

5 Withdrawal Unlike withdrawal from other drugs, withdrawal from alcohol differs most significantly from other drugs, since it can be directly fatal (NIAAA, 1997). For example it is extremely rare for heroin or cocaine withdrawal to be fatal. When people die from heroin or cocaine withdrawal they typically have serious underlying health problems which are made worse by the strain of acute withdrawal. An alcoholic however, who has no serious health, issues has a significant risk of dying from the direct effects of withdrawal if it is not properly managed.

When alcohol is stopped, especially abruptly, the person’s nervous system suffers from great brain imbalances. This can result in symptoms that include anxiety, life threatening seizures, delirium tremens and hallucinations, shakes and possible heart failure. During withdrawal especially acute withdrawal symptoms tend to subside after 1 – 3 weeks. Less severe symptoms (e. g. insomnia and anxiety) may continue as part of a post withdrawal syndrome gradually improving with abstinence for a year or more.

Withdrawal symptoms begin to subside as the body and central nervous system makes adaptations to reverse tolerance and restore 15 functions towards normal body functioning. It is evident that from completed research the habitual user experiences hangover (a combination of head ache, nausea, fatigue and depression) a situation which may be very challenging. According to Hamigan & others, (as cited in Thom, 2009) one in nine individuals who drink continue the path to alcoholism.

However, according to Vallant, (as cited in Santrock, 2005) by the age of 65 a third of alcoholics are dead or in terrible shape; a third is still trying to bear addiction and a third is abstinent or drinking only socially. Vallant found the factors leading to successful withdrawal to be predicted by: 1. Having a strong negative experience with alcohol, for instance serious medical emergency 2. Finding a substitute depends, for instance meditation, exercise or overeating (which also has serious medical implications) 3. Developing a positive relationship such as a caring employer or a new marriage 4.

Joining a support group such as Alcoholics anonymous (AA). Vallant acknowledges that more than 18 million patients currently need alcohol treatment and only one fourth ever get treatment for a number of reasons such as lack of availability of such facilities lack of adequate space, limited funding or because drinkers object to the treatment. These studies clearly depict the challenges facing withdrawal from the medical stand point. However, it is important to note that not much has been done on the impacts of withdrawal on the family set-up. 2. 2. 1. 6 Economy Alcohol also does no good for the economy.

In 1989 it cost British industry 1. 7 billion United Kingdom pounds (Holden, 1996). According to a recent special report prepared for United States Congress by NIAAA, the impact of alcohol on society including violence, traffic accidents, lost work productivity and premature deaths, cost America in aggregate an estimated 188 billion United States dollars 16 annually. However, not much has been done on the impacts of alcohol on family economy and personal financial management and stability as separate from National or Global economic impacts. 2. 3 Continental Impact The continent Africa is characterized by poverty and unemployment.

Extensive research has shown that these factors are a contributory to the start of alcohol intake and consequently alcoholism. African countries have high reported cases of domestic violence which are largely attributed to consumption of alcohol. Since most of the drinking population is poor and they can’t afford ‘expensive and classy’ commercial brands, they have opted for the cheap non-hygienical local brews. The drinking population also spends most of their finances on alcohol leaving their families financially unstable hence their family economy is in a terrible state.

Excessive alcohol consumption also causes serious negative effect on fertility in both men and women: decreasing testicular and ovarian size, interfering with sperm and egg production and viability, disrupting menstrual cycles, and reducing libido. When pregnancy is achieved reduced quality of sperm and egg may significantly and permanently affect the quality of life, pre and post-natal, of the child. A child born to an alcohol using woman has a great risk of being born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes distinctive cranial and facial defects, including a smaller head size, shortening of the eyelids, and a lowered brain capability.

Developmental disabilities, heart defects, and behavioral problems are also more likely. There has been an outcry among women from Mombasa, a town in the Kenyan coast, that alcohol intake among their men folk is making them incapable of performing their conjugal duties. Alcohol consumption has also caused numerous health hazards within the continental standing similar to what is being experienced globally. Among such diseases common in Africa include: liver disease, physical injuries due to short 17

term effects of alcohol leave alone the psychological ailments that the family of the alcoholic has to go through (Asenjo, 2009). It is however important to note that unlike in western countries, in Africa alcohol is more reserved to the male population. Women who drink are seen as a social vice associated with prostitution and immorality hence, as such alcohol has gained much prevalence among men and as such most alcoholics are men. It is ironical that since times immemorial women have always prepared the brew, but they give it to their male counterparts for consumption.

Alcoholism also increases instances of marriage break down due to such factors as domestic violence, neglect of responsibility (a major problem) and the psychological impacts involved mostly among the women fork and the children of the alcoholic husband cum father. However, unlike in the developed countries where there exists, in abundance, institutions dedicated to aid alcoholics shake off their habits, such facilities are very rare in the black continent.

These can be attributed to the fact that in most communities, alcohol consumption is regarded as a traditional artifact and as the saying goes, “Mwacha mila ni mtumwa “(A Swahili proverb which translates into, “He who abandons tradition is a foreigner”. Also this can be cited as a reason mainly responsible for low instances of withdrawal in the continent. Withdrawal, if any, is due to ones own efforts or in some instances pressure from a particular class in the community for instance, church or ones own family.

It is, however, important to note that despite the ‘naked’ impacts (negative) caused by alcohol all over the continent, not much has been done to better understand the problem from a continental stand point and whatever presumptions that exists about alcoholism, are just mere generalizations, in that case, of what happens in the west to be applicable in Africa as well, which might not always be the case owing to the so obvious cultural and social difference 18 2. 4 Local Impact The devastating effects of alcohol and drugs on young people can be felt bare today.

Experts have sounded alarming bells after two studies revealed that school children as young as eleven are falling prey to alcohol.

Research at the African Mental Health foundation says that in the last four years the use of alcohol and other drugs among young people has increased by a staggering 71 percent. In Kenya, unrecorded alcohol consumption is estimated to be 5. 0 litres of pure alcohol per capita for population older than 15 years for the years after 1995, estimated by a group of key alcohol experts (WHO, 2004). A 1997 to 1998 survey sponsored by the Economic ad Social Research council and The British Institute

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