GÉNÉRAL
YOUTHS AND ALCOHOL IN CAMEROON
mai 25, 2016
PAR EL-FRIDA ENANGA
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Alcohol consumption by youths in our country sometimes starts at the age of about 16 but more often escalates between 18 and 25 years of age, when youths are also experiencing dramatic physical, emotional, and social changes. The use of the term “alcohol” in this article specifically refers to “brewed beer” and not including other alcoholic drinks such as wine and whisky.

In seeking to understand youth development and alcohol involvement, it is important to consider all dimensions of functioning, because the interrelated cognitive, biological, social, and affective changes that occurs during adolescence not only affect each another but also influence an individual's risk of problem drinking. In particular, the timing, sequence, and synchrony of developmentally specific transitions can affect how well youths master new roles, as well as continuities and discontinuities in their behaviour.

Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that alcohol involvement by youth has both short- and long-term effects on health and well-being at later developmental stages. Importantly, the consequences of youth drinking seem to differ from those associated with adult drinking, because there is increasing evidence that adolescents are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of heavy alcohol use on both biological and social functioning.

As adolescents move beyond high school, they tend to spend more time in settings away from their homes and neighbourhoods. Those who attend college full-time enter a new, age-graded, social environment, adaptation to which provides opportunities for a fresh start, even if it is stressful. For other youths, this is also the time of life when they leave their rearing homes and establish for the first time their own residences. Regardless of with whom they live, youths at this life stage typically assume increasing responsibility for managing their daily lives, including balancing studying and working with their social and leisure pursuits and making decisions regarding practical matters such as when to drink and what to drink.

Typically, alcohol-related problems and consequences refer to a variety of negative life experiences that arise from drinking, such as social problems (e g, physical or verbal aggression or relationship difficulties), legal problems (e g, arrests for driving while drinking or public inebriation), educational/vocational problems (e g, academic difficulties, termination from employment, or failure to achieve career goals), and medical problems (e g, unintentional injury, liver disease, or central nervous system disease). Although alcohol problems may be direct consequences of consumption, other factors associated with alcohol consumption may act independent of or interact with actual consumption to predict problems.

Alcohol abuse is a global issue because it has a strong effect on people and can cause major health problems, including liver cirrhosis and injuries in consumer’s bodies. The  case  may  be  severe  in Cameroonian  youths  but  cannot  be  appreciated due  to  non-existence  of  data on  its  effect  on  lifestyle, health and consumption patterns.

 In Cameroon alcohol plays a great role in many social activities. Alcohol consumption is greatly influenced by culture, the setting  in  which  drinking  occurs,  and  expectations  about effects of exposure to alcohol In  Cameroon,  most  people  drink  under  natural conditions of a “beer parlor” (aka bar room) setting with friends,  colleagues  and  women.  Some youths rely on alcohol  to  handle  psychological  distress. There  is evidence  indicating  that  people  who suffer  psychological distress  and  rely  on  alcohol  to  relieve  their  stress  are more  likely  to  develop  alcohol  abuse  and  dependence. Cameroon is rich in alcohol content meanwhile excessive alcohol intake is a common finding.

Unfortunately,  the  risks  associated with unhealthy  drinking  of  alcohol  is  usually  undermined  by youths  who  often  times  consider  alcohol intake  as  being culturally  normal but excessive  alcohol  consumption  negatively  affects youths attitude thereby promoting sexual  abuse. DRINK RESPONSIBLY.

 


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