Study: Alcohol users finding it hard to kick the habit

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011

PEOPLE who cannot control their drinking end up spending most of their money on alcohol, a new research shows.
The “Impact of alcohol consumption on family” research paper identified alcohol as the cause of most health, social and economic problems communities face.
Foundation for People and Community Development executive director Yati Bun said: “On economic impacts 146 (20.5%) of 711 respondents over 1,000 recording samplings spend more than 60% of their total income over the past 12 months on alcohol.
“On the health impacts, 460 respondents admitted that they do have injuries over the past 12 months by one or more of their family members. The report said 211 (45.9%) had injuries related to alcohol.
“Among many other factors on social impacts of alcohol abuse, disciplinary problems in education, marital separations, incest cases, crime and violence were all on the increase as a result of alcohol abuse.
“It reported that those already having problems with alcohol found it difficult to quit as 17.9% of the users admitted it was hard to quit alcohol and 5.4% of respondents said it was impossible.
“An alcohol is regarded as a social ‘lubricant’ and people drinking responsibly and in moderation, enjoy those occasions with friends and relatives; and thus enhance relationships.  
“Drinking responsibly and in moderation requires education and training.
“However, the pattern of drinking alcohol in the country is quite the contrary in that most people drink alcohol in order to become intoxicated, and as such it produces all the harmful effects of that consumption.
“However, from this research, we have come to understand that there are many problems associated with the use and abuse of alcohol,” Bun said.
He said this report summarised and analysed important data collected in the three provinces of the country, the National Capital District, Madang and Eastern Highlands.
Consultant psychiatrist and principal advisor mental health services and social change with the Department of Health Dr Uma Ambihaipahar spoke in detail about the abuse of alcohol.
“PNG, as a developing country, is faced with many social and economic challenges. One of the key challenges faced by people is the harm caused by alcohol related incidents and accidents,” she said.
“It is interesting to note that many attempts have been made by groups, government bodies, industry groups, and civil society groups in trying to address the challenges from arising from alcohol consumption.
“Indeed a concerted effort is required by concerned groups, as well as the education and training in the area of communal and personal responsibility,” Dr Ambihaipahar said.
“Like other societies in developing countries, communities in PNG are in transition amid changing states of growth and development.
“We have the LNG Gas project that the government anticipates that it will boost our economy.
“Communities and families already felt the impact of the LNG project and there already changes in the lifestyles and perception of people.
“The consumption of alcohol carries social and economic loss in the families and is on the opposite dimension of economic gain for the government and brewers.
“The brewers gain at the expense of the health and socio-economic well-being of the families, the foundation unit of the nation,” she said.
The study was funded by the European Union through Non State Actors Support Programme (NSASP) of the Department of Community Development (DFCD) under EDF 9 programme and implemented by Foundation for People and Community Development (FPCD Inc.)