Harmful alcohol use

Any amount of alcohol use is currently considered harmful:

  • Alcohol causes over 5 million deaths worldwide through injuries, cancer, liver disease among others.
  • Alcohol is also responsible for contributing to over 200 diseases including heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
  • Drinks such as bottled beer, wines and spirits; and local brew such as chang’aa, busaa, and muratina all contain alcohol.

In Kenya 30% of people use alcohol mostly youth In addition to poor physical health, alcohol use contributes to:

  • Poor mental health e.g. depression, suicide
  • Job loss
  • Broken relationships with family, friends, and workmates
  • School drop-outs
  • Involvement in risky behavior e.g. careless driving & risky sexual behavior.

People who use lots of alcohol will show some of these signs:

  • Shaking, sweating, anxiety
  • Neglect of self-care
  • Neglect of responsibilities at the workplace and to family
  • Recurrent financial difficulties
  • Poor relationships with family, friends, workmates

Help is available:

  • With appropriate treatment recovery from harmful alcohol use is possible
  • The early seeking of help improves the chances of recovery
  • There are several facilities in the country accredited by NACADA to offer rehabilitation services. See http://nacada.go.ke/?page_id=156 for a list of rehabilitation centers across the country.

Treatment entails:

  • A combination of counseling and medication offered by a team of mental health care workers.
  • Treatment may be conducted in an in-patient or out-patient setting depending on the individual needs of the client.
  • The longer one remains in treatment the better the outcomes.

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