Alcoholism: Analysis of a World-Wide Problem by B. D. Hore (auth.), P. Golding (eds.)

By B. D. Hore (auth.), P. Golding (eds.)

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In another part of the country, Bendel State, with a different tribal group, Oshodin 5 carried out a study on alcohol abuse among high school students in the state capital, Benin City, and another 6 in a secondary school in a rural area of Benin District. He found that 87% of the students in Benin City and 7 1 % of the students in the rural area used alcohol; 18 %of the students in the rural area could be classified as alcohol abusers. They used alcohol more for social than psychological reasons in contrast to the situation observed in the urban area (Benin City) where psychological reasons predominated.

ATTITUDE TO ALCOHOLISM Except in situations where a close friend or member of one's family is alcoholic the public does not seem to be very acutely aware of the individual and social problems of alcoholism. Even in situations where personal involvement brings the problem into focus, people are not aware of the services to use. Of course the traditional healer is consulted as the problem is often considered to be caused by evil machination of others, or violation of taboos, curse etc. The attitude to alcoholism appears to be rather tolerant but not condoned and advice and admonition are lavishly given by relatives and friends who are not drinking colleagues.

Vehicle drivers involved in such fatal accidents, especially on isolated roads, do not usually stop. In summary, the problem of alcohol appears to be increasing in Nigeria, ALCOHOLISM IN NIGERIA 39 with higher earnings, ready availability of alcohol enhanced by the proliferation of breweries, urbanization, loosening of traditional social control of extended family and neighbourliness. Public attitude to the problem appears to be tolerant until it gets to be very disruptive and shameful. It does not appear to be appreciated by many that this is an area in which psychiatry can be helpful, and even when it is so appreciated there is reluctance to use psychiatry because of the stigma associated in some quarters with psychiatric hospitals.

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