Why do married men spend more time in bars than with their families?
A new study has shown 60 per cent of married in Kenya accounts for the highest number of heavy alcohol consumers.
According to the survey conducted by Students’ Campaign Against Drugs (Scad), married men consume 60 or more grammes of pure alcohol or more than six standard drinks per session in a month. Some drink up to five days a week.
A standard drink is a measure of alcohol consumption representing a beverage which contains a fixed amount of pure alcohol.
In the US, a standard drink contains about 14 grammes of alcohol, in Australia it is 10 while in Japan, it is slightly higher at almost 20.
The survey says those who were never married account for 25 per cent of heavy alcohol consumers while the separated or widowed stand at 14.6 per cent.
However, the survey does not show certain parameters including the margin of error, the number of people as well as counties sampled during the research.
In terms of age brackets, prevalence among youth aged between 19-29 years stood at 35.2 per cent.
Scad’s programmes officer William Ntakuka yesterday while addressing delegates during the ongoing International Conference on Drug Demand Reduction said the prevalence among primary school children stands at 38.2 per cent.
“Prevalence stands at 37.7 among the self-employed and at 33.8 per cent among the rich. This was associated with tobacco consumption,” Ntakuka said.
The survey indicated men who were separated had three times higher odds of heavy episodic drinking (HED) compared to their married counterparts.
According to the World Health Organisation, HED is defined as drinking at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days.
HED is one of the most important indicators for acute consequences of alcohol use, such as injuries.
The survey also established that Kenyans in rural areas had a slightly higher prevalence of drinking compared to their urban areas counterparts.
“This is because those in rural areas can brew their own alcohol in their homes and drink. Most of them are taking unrecorded alcohol which is not subjected to any form of controls and regulation. 16 per cent, however, quit drinking after developing health complications,” Ntakuka said.
Ntakuka attributed this largely due to alcohol companies exploiting loopholes in the advertising policy.
“Some air their adverts just before news and this is an issue that should be addressed,” he said.
WHO says alcohol consumption contributes to 3.3 million deaths and 5.1 per cent of Disability Adjusted Life Years.
Its use is linked with more than 200 diseases and many more succumb to illness and injury, as a result of harmful use.
The WHO also says that alcohol increasingly is affecting younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.
Kenya is one such country that is experiencing these negative repercussions from alcohol abuse.
Despite legislative attempts to curb drinking, Kenya is still facing its greatest threat from alcohol abuse.
Calamities associated with excessive intoxication such as dementia, seizures, liver disease, and early death have done little to deter users.
The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act of 2010 restricts the sale of alcohol to between 5 pm and 11 pm, but drinkers are still finding their way around the curfew.