Alcohol Takes its Toll on the Youth
In the past, Uganda has been ranked one of the highest consumers of alcohol in the world by the World Health Organisation, writes Sarah Scheenstra.
One month ago, 23-year-old Alex Masabo was spending all of his money on alcohol. Sitting in a green hospital attire in Butabika National Hospital's Alcohol and Drug Unit, Masabo explained how he lost his appetite for food and instead used any money he could find for alcohol and marijuana, spending about Shs30,000 on alcohol and Shs3,000 on seven to 10 sticks of marijuana each day - significant figures for a man with no steady job.
Four weeks ago, Masabo began Butabika's rehabilitation programme at the recommendation of his mother, concerned at the severity of her son's situation. "Now I see it's bad," Masabo told Daily Monitor, explaining how seriously his habits had affected his life. He has not completed his education, has no steady job, and has lost the trust of his parents, all consequences he attributes to his addictions.
Masabo is just one of many drinkers in Uganda, where alcohol consumption and abuse are on the rise, according to a recent report on the state of alcohol abuse in Uganda by the Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL). In the past, Uganda has also been ranked one of the highest consumers of alcohol in the world by the World Health Organisation.
Dr Rogers Nsereko, a clinical psychologist at Butabika, sees firsthand the impact of alcohol on the country. He pointed to poverty, domestic conflicts, HIV and an increase in road accidents as some of alcohol's effects. "It's obvious that alcohol is destroying the nation," he told Daily Monitor in an interview...
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