ALCOHOLISM AMONG WOMEN IN KAFANCHAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA

1.1 Background to the Study

In most known societies where alcohol is consumed, the men drink more than the women.Because of this, in the UK and other countries, men have been much more likely thanwomen to experience alcohol problems. However, in recent decades, the gap betweenmen and women has narrowed in relation to both consumption and problems.In the UK, there has been a levelling off in female alcohol consumption in recent years, butinstances of heavy drinking remain at historically high levels. It is particularly evident in teenagers, where on some measures teenage girls are as likely as teenage boys to binge drink (Ammendola, 2000).

Women from managerial and professional socio-economic groups – aka ‘high fliers’ – alsodrink heavily on a regular basis. This is seen as a reflection of lifestyle changes in recentdecades which have made it more socially acceptable for women to consume alcohol tolevels comparable with their male counterparts.These factors have had a negative impact on women’s health; consistently high levels ofalcohol consumption have been linked to a steady increase in the number of alcohol relatedadmissions of women to NHS hospitals over the last decade in England alone, andmore new female patient cases are being transferred for alcohol treatment programmesevery year, according to the National Treatment Agency.As the health and social problems from female alcohol misuse grow, there are increasingcalls for alcohol policy to be more targeted towards women’s drinking habits (Ricciardelli et al, 2001). The proportion of women consuming alcohol regularly has remained at historically highlevels for at least the last decade. Since 1998, at least 1 in 10 women claimed to have hada drink on at least 5 days in the week prior to interview, and over half of femaleinterviewees also reported having consumed alcohol on at least 1 day in the week beforeinterview (between 54% and 60% from 1998 to 2010). According to the WHO Gender, Alcohol and Culture: An International Study (GENACIS) (2003 regionalsurvey; total sample size n = 1949, males n = 1049 and females n = 900; age range 20 to 64 years), the rate oflast year abstainers was 66.3% (total), 57.1% (males) and 77% (females).According to WHO focal point data, in 2001, the rate of last year abstainers was 46.2% among males and 54.9%among females. The rate of frequent drinkers was reported to be 5% among males and 1% among females (WHO, 2003).Frequent drinking was defined as drinking on five or more days per week.A 1994 study conducted among 300 adult women in the rural town of Igbo-Ora, aged between 20 and 65 years,found that a majority of the respondents (64%) were found to have tasted alcoholic beverages. At the time of thesurvey, 32.7% of the women said they were current consumers of alcoholic beverages and 40.7% said they hadnever consumed an alcoholic beverage. Current drinkers reported consuming an average of 1.3 bottles (60 cl perbottle) of alcoholic beverage in the week preceding the survey. The study also found that current drinking statuswas associated with religion. Only 9% of the respondents with indigenous beliefs reported using alcohol ascompared to 40% of Christian respondents and 30% of Muslim respondents. A 1998 survey conducted among 988 university students in Ilorin, Nigeria found the rate of current users ofalcohol to be 18.5% (total), 24% (males) and 17% (females).7A study conducted among 292 out-of-school male adolescents in an urban area of Central Nigeria (aged 11 to20 years) found that more than one third (38.7%) of the sample had taken alcohol at least once in their lives (Nwobu, 2007).

The average age of self-initiated drinking was 13.2 years (SD = 2.7). Past year prevalence of beer use was 28.1% and 17.1% for past year palm wine use. The corresponding figures for past month beer and palm wine use were 19.5% and 12% respectively Burukutu is a popular alcoholic beverage of a vinegar-like flavour prepared from sorghum grains and fermented guinea corn and consumed in the Northern Guinea savanna region of Nigeria. It is also typically consumed in the Ibadan region and ranges in alcohol content from 3–6%. Burukutu is the most popular drink in southern Kaduna alcoholic beverage in the rural areas of northern Nigeria and in poor urban neighbourhoods because it is more affordable than commercially brewed beer. It is often consumed as food because it is thick and heavy.The producers of burukutu are overwhelmingly women. Palm wine is to southern Nigerians what burukutu is to northerners. It is the whitish sap collected in vessels attached to the base of the tree from where some leaves have been removed. Fresh wine from these sources is sweet and contains little alcohol but, with fermentation, the alcohol content increases in time.  Pito is the traditional beverage of the southern Kaduna’s to more précised pito is mostly consumed in Kafanchan, Jama’a local government of Kaduna state  It is now very popularly consumed by women and men also owing to its low price. Prepared from cereal grains (maize, sorghum or a combination of both), pito is a dark brown liquid which varies in taste from sweet to bitter. It contains lactic acid, sugars, amino acids and has an alcohol content of 3% (Wikipedia, 2012).

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem 

The problem of alcoholism in the society call for serious intervention, this is because it is among the major causes of other social and economic related problems like; increase crime rate, poverty, academic failure, marriage failure, etc. (Nwobu, 2007).  Alcoholism leads to serious economic waste and also results in both domestic and communal violence. Many persons suffer from; mental and physical health related problems caused by alcohol. Alcoholism among women could lead to crime and violence (Ricciardelli et al, 2001). Not to mention the health related damage to the body. It has been observed that the domestic effects of alcoholism in Kafanchan, Jama’a local government of Kaduna state include; high rate of infidelity, divorce, poverty and health failure.

Even Short-term effects of alcohol consumption include intoxication and dehydration. Long-term effects of alcohol consumption include changes in the metabolism of the liver and brain and alcoholism (alcohol dependency)(Ricciardelli, 2001). Alcohol intoxication affects the brain, causing slurred speech, clumsiness, and delayed reflexes. Alcohol stimulates insulin production, which speeds up glucose metabolism and can result in low blood sugar, causing irritability and (for diabetics) possible death. Severe alcohol poisoning can be fatal. Even though, not all effects of alcohol consumption are harmful. Although even moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of death in younger people, it has been shown to decrease the risk of death for individuals ages 55+ (due to decreased risk of ischemic heart disease),(Ricciardelli et al, 2001). In women, alcohol can result in damage reproductive system or birth of abnormal babies. The problem this research study seeks to address is; establishing the fact of prevalence (prevalence rate) of alcoholism and the effects among women.

1.3 Research Question

  1. What is the cause of alcohol consumption among women of Kafanchan, Jama’a local government of Kaduna state?
  2. What are the effects of alcoholism among women of Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state?
  3. What are the possible ways of reducing alcoholism to the bearestminimum among women of Kafanchan, Jama’a local government of Kaduna state?

1.4 Research Objectives

The general objective of this research study,is to examine the prevalence rate and effects of alcoholism among women of Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state; more specifically, the objectives of this research study are to;

  1. Examine the cause of alcohol consumption among womenof Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state.
  2. Investigate the effects of alcoholism among women of Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state.
  3. Suggest possible ways of reducing alcoholism to the bearest minimum among womenof Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state.

1.5 Significance of the research work 

This research study will contribute to the area of study of alcoholism by providing new knowledge on the area. It will systematically establish the prevalence rate of alcoholism among women in Kafanchan, Jama’a local government of Kaduna state. It will also explore the factors that encourage alcoholism among women in the study area.

This research study is a very significant one, because it will provide new knowledge on the topic area. Most researchers had attempted to study the causes of alcoholism in women, but only few of had gotten to establishing the prevalence of alcoholism among women. This research study on the prevalence rate and effects of alcoholism among women will provide information on the prevalence rate of alcoholism among women in Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state.  Hence this research study will also serve as a reference material for further research on the area as well.

This research study will be of benefit to so many persons and institutions in Kaduna state. More specifically, this research study will benefit the following persons and organisations in the following ways; the government will benefit from this research study as it will become a source of information for policy making, the department of sociology in Kaduna state university will also benefit from this work as it will add to existing knowledge on the area. Moreover, this research study will benefit the people of Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state. Finally, this research study will be o huge benefit to the researcher as it would help him fulfil one of the important requirements for the award of degree certification.

This study will be of benefit to the government, stakeholders and other interested agencies interested in controlling the menace of alcoholism among women in the study area. The information provided in this research may also encourage further research into the area by other researchers. Academicians, students, professionals and related institutions would benefit from the information provided in this study.

Finally, this research study will benefit the researcher by enabling him fulfil a basic requirement in his academic programme.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this research is to investigate the prevalence rate and the effect of Alcoholism among women in Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state. This research study will cover Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna state, the study area. The sourcing and gathering of information would be limited to the study area.

This research study will focus on alcoholism among women in the study area. Data between the years 2000 to 2014 will be collected and examined. The actual research procedures will target the case study area (Kanfanchan, Jama’a Local Government Area, Kaduna State).

The major limitation of this study is external validity, or the general ability of the study. This limitation is due to constraint in data collection procedure as a result of inadequate suitable respondents, reoccurring error of questionnaire answering and time constraint. Other areas of limitation are:

  1. Time: Due to limited time much data and information could not be

accessed.

  1. Finance: Owing to financial constraints, the researcher was unable to

cover a large sample in the studied area.

  1. Non-availability of relevant and adequate needed information.