ALCOHOL abuse is a debatable issue that poses many challenges for our society.
Unfortunately, a number of Papua New Guineans are not good at socialising with alcohol because they end up arguing and fighting and with injuries inflicted or deaths reported.
Most gathering, be it family, friends or work related that has alcohol, will always have its share of commotion.
Yesterday, The National published two court stories related to alcohol – a 24-year-old man jailed for 10 years as a result of intoxication and a father of one also jailed for 10 years on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
The court heard that the man and his wife were consuming alcohol when an argument erupted before he assaulted her with rocks and bricks.
Many people drink alcohol to socialise and celebrate, or they enjoy a drink with dinner.
Assistant Comm of Police eastern end Anton Billie highlighted that 21 motor vehicle accidents had occurred along the new four-lane mostly from speeding.
Drink-driving was another factor.
A good number of people drink in moderation or do not drink; however, many struggle with forms of drinking problems, including heavy drinking, binge drinking and alcohol use disorder.
Many people drink alcohol and the majority do so without any problems.
Drinking can be enjoyable and sometimes helps you to unwind or relax.But heavy drinking, getting drunk or drinking at the wrong time or in the wrong situation can lead to a range of difficulties.
This brings us to the scenario that is becoming too common in our communities with consumption of alcohol, those who have consumed alcohol have been more argumentative, abusive or violent.
We concur with Justice Lawrence Kangwia, from the National Court in Lae that many people act first and think later.
“If it is think first and act later, there could be fewer such offences,” he said.
“The weapons or objects to inflict physical harm to fellow human beings must be deterred by sentences imposed.”
It is true that the huge publicity on violence against females both in domestic and outside settings reflect the occurrence of such offences. Alcohol abuse is the basis of bigger problems such as domestic violence, family conflicts and marriage breakups.
Every drink one consumes adds up, and over time, it can have a bigger impact on our health and wellbeing than we realise.
A domestic violence study carried out by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission found that 71 per cent of the women interviewed considered alcohol abuse as a major cause of marital problems.
Of those who had been beaten by their spouse, 26 per cent related the incident to alcohol.
National Capital District Met Sup Gideon Ikumu earlier this year said people who could not control themselves after consuming alcohol needed to stop or limit their intake because they were a threat to themselves, their families, friends, tribesmen and the entire community. Alcohol affects people in different ways, but for many youths and even some grown man, it seems they lose all form of common sense.
Whatever it is, alcohol is never an excuse for bad behaviour.
There are children living in PNG with parents who misuse alcohol.
These problems are widespread.
Many research done worldwide say parental alcohol misuse damages and disrupts the lives of children and families in all areas of society, spanning all social classes.
It blights the lives of families and harms the development of children trapped by the effects of their parents’ problematic drinking.
This definitely is happening in PNG.