Alcohol consumption among different ethnic groups in Nigeria has a long history, especially among those groups where it was not forbidden by religion. In the traditional era, alcohol played complex roles in the socio-cultural relationships of different communities. It was used for rituals, marriage ceremonies, chieftaincy enthronements, etc. It was mainly consumed by male adults for pleasure while females and youths were culturally restrained from drinking. Excess consumption was not a norm and intoxication attracted negative sanctions. In the contemporary Nigerian society, patterns of consumption are changing rapidly following the socio-political and economic development of Nigeria, giving rise to new norms of alcohol use. This review examines the impact of alcohol consumption on health behavior of youths and the changing patterns of alcohol consumption. It concludes by exploring the consequences of these effects of alcohol consumption on the health behavior of youths and suggests some remedies for contemporary Nigerian society.
- Background of the study
Alcohol consumption appears very rampant in schools and in the society at large. It seems to be the source one of the country’s major health challenge as well as social problems. The impact of alcoholism on youth has remained a source of worry to parents, schools, society and even the government because of the attendant misbehaviours that usually follow it have negative effect on the society and educational advancement cum achievement of the students. Current trends suggest that overall drug use is on the decline, but the proportion of youth continuing to initiate illicit substance use remains troubling. According to a recent survey, youth perception of harm associated with illicit substance use (e.g., marijuana) remains low, whereas abuse of inhalants is at a recent all-time high (Johnston et al., 2005). In 2004, approximately 1.4 million adolescents reported past year methamphetamine use (SAMHSA, 2005), and nearly 2.1 million youth across the United States engaged in marijuana use for the first time (Johnston et al., 2005).As a result of these trends, researchers increasingly have targeted adolescent substance users. There are various locations where students have access to alcohol such as beer parlours, clubs, parties and so on. It has been observed that people across cultures and countries have different reasons for drinking alcohol. Some people drink in other to conform to the norm of a particular group while adolescents majorly engage in alcohol drinking for ego assertion birth as a result of desire to be independent. For other adolescents they engage in drinking in other to reduce frustration, relieve boredom, fatigue and in addition they perceive that it could help them to escape harsh realities of their world. Some youths intake of alcohol is influenced by their parents, personal gratification and temporary adaptations are also reasons while young adults venture into alcohol consumption which is usually festered by family background crisis such as divorce or separation. Hence, such young adults are exposed and lack significant adults in their life to check their socially undesirable behaviours. Several scholars and researchers has attributed alcohol consumption to a lot of reasons and factors. World Health Organization (2004), posited that alcohol consumption are usually due to environmental factors, friends or peer group, social wellbeing and uncontrollable drinking habits of an individual. Again it is not uncommon to find students consume alcohol because of curiosity, urge and desire to achieve success in a competitive world, emotional disturbances such as anxiety due to stress, subculture and advertisement influence. Bennett (1997) viewed alcohol as a drink that is as dangerous as cocaine and heroin. He went further to note that the unfortunate thing about it is that, unlike other similarly dangerous drugs, it appears to enjoy greater acceptance and its consumption is often openly applauded by the government, press and manufacturers. This could be as a result of the resources which the government in form of tax receive and higher sales made from it. It is noticed that even at the periods of economic depression ; breweries continue to record and declare heavy profits and parts of which also goes into expansion of the production plants. WHO(2004), stated the side effect of alcohol on individuals and society at large. These effects are numerous and include the following; psychological disorder, untimely death and health problems to mention in summary. Regardless of these negative effects, Nigerians celebrate every joyful occasion with alcoholic drinks; be it naming ceremonies, birthday parties, promotions and even burial ceremonies. All these are factors that enhance the consumption of alcoholic substance by adolescents. Johnson and Johnson (2000) identified some of the factors further such as dysfunctional families, cheap availability of alcohol, hereditary, gender, race, and ethnicity. According to Quine and Stephenson (1990) posited that the attitude of parents towards alcohol will also affect how children will feel about the depressant. Invariably many students who consume alcohol are from families where there low levels of parenting and emotional support and also a lack of control and monitoring of a child’s behaviour, poor family communication, inadequate family problem, solving and nagging at home. In which case, an individual’s family background plays an important role in the attitude of students’ alcoholism. Religious affiliation has also been found as an important factor that determines alcohol consumption among students. It is usually believed that religious groups have rules, ethics and guidelines that guide them. Most religion advocate mediation in all things, this principle could hence be transferred to the issue of alcohol consumption. In this study conducted by Jenkins (2013), he found out that religiously affiliated students reported less alcohol consumption than the non religion students. In a survey carried out in Ibadan, religion was found to have a significant relationship with a significant relationship with alcohol consumption(Adenuga&ijagbone,2012). Young people join different peer groups and identify themselves with these groups by participating in their activities so as not to be rejected. According to Mello(1996) he found out that alcohol consumption among students is on the increase and that they are mostly influenced to drinking alcohol by their friends and these on the other affect attitude towards school. A young person who is attached to a peer group that values anti-social activities inevitably finds it difficult to resist the encouragement of peer group members in such negative behaviour. Environmental influences on alcohol includes acceptance of alcohol use by the society, through mass media, role models and this acceptance is demonstrated by lack of formal laws enforcement and social disapproval for those who engage in dangerous drinking or create problems while drunk. This has a way of sending messages to the younger generation that such behaviour is accepted; as it intoxicates behaviours (including assaults, vandalism and public nuisance). Alcohol consumption is a serious public health challenge worldwide, including in Nigeria. Although the level of alcohol consumption differs widely around the world, the burden of disease and death remains significant in most regions, with Europe and America having the highest alcohol attributable fractions at 6.5% and 5.6%, respectively. Recent evidence also indicates that alcohol consumption is now the world’s third largest risk factor for disease and disability; almost 4% of all deaths globally are attributed to alcohol. However, alcohol is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in both young people and adults in Nigeria. Some of the factors contributing to alcohol consumption among Nigerians include the absence of alcohol policies, easy access to alcoholic drinks, and lack of implementation of a minimum drinking age by both the government and the brewers.
According to Bada and Adebiyi, it is not rare for Nigerian secondary school students to consume alcoholic drinks; this consumption could be due to their curiosity as adolescents, an irresistible urge, emotional disturbances such as anxiety, the subculture, and the influence of advertisements. Several previous studies have shown the prevalence of alcohol consumption among the Nigerian population, but they did not explore adolescent students’ understanding of its negative health effects. For instance, Lasebikan and Ola found that the prevalence of lifetime alcohol use was 57.9% and that of current alcohol use was 27.3% among a sample of Nigerian semirural community dwellers. Through in-person interviews with Nigerian adults, previous research by Gureje et al revealed that the lifetime prevalence of alcohol consumption was 56%. A recent study by Alex-Hart et al showed that the prevalence of current alcohol consumption among a sample of Nigerian secondary school students was 30.6% and that 38.1% of current drinkers had also been drunk in the past 30 days, with 17.2% being drunk very frequently.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Alcohol consumption negatively affects human health across the lifespan. Previous studies show that alcohol consumption is associated with a burden of diseases such as cancer, pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, diabetes mellitus, alcohol use disorder, malignancies, psychiatric morbidity, and injury. Although 18 years of age is the legal limit for alcohol consumption per policy in many parts of the world, sociocultural influences seem to hinder strict adherence to this public health policy in Nigerian society. It is in view of the above that the researcher intends to investigate the influence of alcohol on health behavior of youth inEgor local government
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of the present study was therefore to investigate the influence of alcohol on health behavior of youth inEgor local government in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to attain the following sub-objectives
- To ascertain the effect of alcohol on the health behavior of the youth
- To examine the impact of alcohol on mental imbalance amongst youth inEgor local government
- To ascertain if there is any relationship between alcoholism and the health behavior of the youth
- To examine the role of government in curbing the rate of alcoholism amongst the youth inEgor local government
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
To aid the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: alcoholism does not have any effect on the health behavior of youth inEgor local government
H1: alcoholism does have an effect on the health behavior of youth inEgor local government
H02: there is no significant relationship between alcoholism and the health behavior of youth inEgor local government in Nigeria.
H2: there is a significant relationship between alcoholism and the health behavior of youth inEgor local government in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study the findings will be of great importance to the guardian of this youth to educate them on the health dangers of alcoholism, the study will also be of importance to government agencies and parastatals that are charge with the responsibility of regulating the age restriction to sales of alcohol to under age. The study will also be of great importance to researchers who intend to embark on a study on a similar topic as the findings of the study will serve as a reference point to further research, finally the study will also be of great importance to students, teachers, lecturers, and academia’s as the study will also contribute to the pool of knowledge on the subject matter and also contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers influence of alcohol on health behavior of youth inEgor local government. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors which militate against the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Mental ability: General mental ability (GMA) is a term used to describe the level at which an individual learns, understands instructions, and solves problems.
Drug: A drug is any substance (other than food that provides nutritional support) that, when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin, or dissolved under the tongue causes a physiological change in the body.
alcohol is any organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group is bound to a saturated carbon atom
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study
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