Alcohol Abuse in Africa

Alcohol Abuse in AfricaOver many years, Africa has developed a problem with the over-consumption of alcohol. In a continent with so many areas of economic and social struggle, the alcohol industry may seem like a beacon of hope. While there are noted social and economic benefits that come from the industry of alcohol production and distribution, the negatives are far more widespread.

Social Uses of Alcohol in Africa

Alcohol is abused in many areas of Africa as a means to escape the reality of poverty and poor living conditions. In cities like Nairobi, Kenya’s most populated city, compact living conditions lead many people to turn to alcohol. Nairobi has an estimated 200 slums, which are areas of overcrowding and low socioeconomic status. Alcohol industries target areas like these, where inhabitants want to do anything to escape the effects of poverty. Unfortunately, using alcohol for this reason only leads to increased poverty and addiction.

In other areas of Africa, alcohol is used as a means to display higher social standing. Different types of alcohol can be used to represent these levels. As Africans acquire more money, they switch from “lower” classes of alcohol, such as beer, to drinks like Scotch whiskey. Higher class citizens may boast their financial stability by drinking certain types of alcohol.

Economic Effects of Alcohol in Africa

One of the significant factors contributing to the abuse of alcohol in African countries is the economic impacts it makes. Africans who become involved in the business of alcohol production and distribution are often pleased with how readily their businesses succeed. In South Africa, the alcohol industry has been largely beneficial to the economy, contributing notable amounts to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). While the economy of South Africa reflects the positive effects of the alcohol industry, it has not escaped the damaging effects of the business as well. The amount of money spent by the country of South Africa to pay for the negative effects of alcohol abuse and addiction is significant.

While the production of alcohol is financially beneficial to some, there are many that suffer economically as an effect of alcohol circulation. Those who place all their money into the purchase of alcohol are left with no money to make other investments. Other essential businesses might not have as much support, because there is so little cash available to invest in it. Unemployment from alcohol use has become another concern in the economies of many African countries. As those who abuse alcohol become addicted, they may loose their jobs because they are using alcohol while at work or because of alcohol-related decreases in work performance. Unemployment leads to increased stress, to which addicts use alcohol to self-medicate.

Get Help for Alcohol Abuse or Addiction

Alcohol abuse and addiction are very serious problems that occur in all areas of the world. Regardless of location, it is important to seek appropriate treatment for these conditions. Please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction.