1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Alcohol is a colorless flammable liquid found in wine, beer, spirits, and other beverages as a byproduct of yeast, sugars, and starch fermentation. It has also been described as a substance with a central nervous system depressive effect (Schinke, Schwinn, Cole 2006). The liver largely metabolizes it via biochemical processes. Alcohol use, according to (Perkins, 2002), has socioeconomic and sociocultural consequences for individuals in society, particularly students. It is given and used at ceremonies, oaths, vows, celebrations, and other joyful events. During the colonial era, it was employed as a mark of appreciation and respect. Palm wine made from oil palm and raffia palm trees was a popular alcoholic beverage in the south-east. According to Okonkwo (2018), interactions between Europeans and the natives of eastern Nigeria, particularly during the Atlantic slave trade period, began in the fourteenth century and largely introduced a range of alcoholic drinks, gin and tonic and whiskey. Youthful alcohol use is a serious public health issue in many high, middle, and low income nations across the world. According to (Perkins, 2002), Alcohol has also been regarded as a substance with a central nervous system depressive effect. It is mostly processed by the liver via biochemical processes. Youthful abuse of alcohol use causes a slew of issues that have a severe influence on the population’s health. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, vehicle accidents, and murders, which are the main causes of mortality among teens and young adults in the United States of America (USA).
According to Eze, Njoku, Eseadi, Akubue, Ezeanwu AB, Ugwu, et al.(2017), Starting to drink at a young age has also been linked to adult alcohol dependence, unintended accidents such as falls, burns, and drowning, and greater proclivity to engage in unprotected sex. The physical and societal repercussions of alcohol misuse are quite concerning. It includes a wide range of clinical and psychological effects such as intoxication, dependency, and a greater risk of physical damage to the individual and other members of society, disturbance of family life, mental disorders, and schizophrenia.
Additionally, alcohol consumption has been related to a variety of medical disorders that impact many systems, including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and endocrine (particularly diabetic) systems. It’s also been linked to immunosuppression and other metabolic diseases, including obesity, anemia, and malnutrition. Homicide, suicide, an increased risk of automotive accidents, violence, a high risk of sexual conduct, and a deterioration in quality of life are all consequences of alcohol misuse. This places it as the world’s third leading cause of disease and disability Osei-Bonsu, Appiah, Norman, Asalu, Kweku, Ahiabor, 2017).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The majority of our youths, whether unknowingly or intentionally, rely on alcohol for their everyday activities. According to Schinke, Schwinn, Cole (2006), alcohol has caused more traffic accidents and claimed more lives than any other disease that civilization has faced. Alcohol consumption has long been a source of worry in Nigerian culture. Osei-Bonsu, Appiah, Norman, Asalu, Kweku, Ahiabor, 2017) observed that Alcohol misuse has become prevalent among young people. In recent years, the rate at which youngsters abuse alcohol has been so frightening and concerning that significant efforts have been undertaken to eliminate it. As more and more young people abuse alcohol, the attempt to remove it dwindles. Although alcohol misuse and addiction have negative or disastrous repercussions, our youngsters continue to consume alcohol. “Not only does it ruin the affected individual, but it has a far-reaching impact on everyone who knows or works with the individual” (Eze, Njoku, Eseadi, Akubue, Ezeanwu, Ugwu, et al.2017). In our Nigerian society, alcoholism is a tragedy yet our youths are still engaging in it despite the social consequences involved. This study seeks to address this.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to critically investigate the social consequences of alcohol abuse among Nigerian youths. Other objectives of the study are:
- To examine the causes of alcohol consumption among Nigerian youths.
- To assess the level of alcohol consumption among Nigerian youths
iii. To investigate the impact of alcohol abuse on relationships of Nigerian youth
- To investigate the impact of alcohol abuse on the social skills of Nigerian youth
- To investigate the impact of alcohol abuse on the career and working skills of Nigerian youth
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will be addressed by this study.
- What are the causes of alcohol consumption among Nigerian youths?
- What is the level of alcohol consumption among Nigerian youths?
iii. What are the impact of alcohol abuse on relationships of Nigerian youth?
- What are the impact of alcohol abuse on the social skills of Nigerian youth?
- What are the impact of alcohol abuse on the career and working skills of Nigerian youth?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of great significance to the general public as the results of this study will show the causes of alcohol consumption among youths, the effect it has on their relationships, social skills and career skills. This study will also be beneficial to the youths as they will learn the impacts of alcohol abuse and thus try to avoid it.
Further more, this study will be of great importance to the alcoholic beverage company as they will try to effect policies that will regulate alcohol consumption.
Finally, this study will be beneficial to the scholars as it will serve as an existing material for further studies and future reference.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be critically investigating the social consequences of alcohol abuse among Nigerian youths. It will also be looking at the impacts it has on the relationships, social skills and career skills of youths. This study will be carried out in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State and as such selected youths from Ikwerre LGA will serve as enrolled participants for this study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to critically investigating the social consequences of alcohol abuse among Nigerian youths. It will also be limited to the impacts it has on the relationships, social skills and career skills of youths. This study will be carried out in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State and as such this serves as a limitation for this study as more research has to be carried out before the findings of this study is used any where else.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Critical: expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgement
Investigation: the action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.
Consequences: a result or effect, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.
Alcohol abuse: the habitual excessive use of alcohol
Bai FW, Anderson WA, Moo‑Young M.(2008) Ethanol fermentation technologies from sugar and starch feedstocks. Biotechnol Adv ;26:89‑105.
Schinke S, Schwinn T, Cole K.(2006) Preventing alcohol abuse among early adolescents through family and computer‑based interventions: Four‑year outcomes and mediating variables. J Dev Phys Disabil ;
Eze NM, Njoku HA, Eseadi C, Akubue BN, Ezeanwu AB, Ugwu UC, et al.(2017) Alcohol consumption and awareness of its effects on health among secondary school students in Nigeria. Medicine (Baltimore)
Osei-Bonsu E, Appiah PK, Norman ID, Asalu GA, Kweku M, Ahiabor SY, et al. (2017) Prevalence of alcohol consumption and factors influencing alcohol use among the youth in Tokorni-Hohoe, Volta region of Ghana. Science Journal of Public Health.
Perkins HW. (2002) Surveying the damage: A review of research on consequences of alcohol misuse in college populations. J Stud Alcohol Suppl. ;14:91–100.