Alcohol Use in Selected Low-Income Neighbourhoods in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria

Author(s): Nkeiru Mbadiwe, BirinusEzeala Adikaibe*, Justin Achor, Innocent Okoye, Obinna Onodugo, Obumneme Anyim, Uchenna Ijoma, Chidimma Orah-Okpala, Collins Ugwu and Nkeiru Onodugo

Background: Alcohol holds an important role in social engagement in southeast Nigeria. It is considered pleasurable by many who drink it in mild or moderate quantities. Studies show an increasing trend in alcohol consumption, including among adolescents. Aim: The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence and pattern of alcohol use among adolescents living in urban settlements in Enugu Urban, Southeast Nigeria. Materials & Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted, using purposive sampling method. Using semi-structured questionnaires, we obtained information on their biodata, medical history, alcohol consumption profiles and a few other lifestyle behaviors. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS version 23. Results: A total of 473 youngsters aged 10 yeras-19 years were recruited from the two settlements. Females (mean age 15.4 years) were also older than males (mean age 14.8 years) p=0.02. The prevalence of current alcohol use within the preceding 4 weeks was 23.7% (112/473). Males drank alcohol more frequently than females (31.8% vs. 17.8%). p<0.01) and local brew (palm wine) was the commonest alcoholic consumed 40 (35.7%). The amount of alcohol consumed (in grams) rose sharply after the age of 15 years with a steeper gradient being observed among the males. Conclusion: This study shows that there was a moderate rate of alcohol use among adolescents in the study population which increased sharply after 15 years of age. There is therefore a need for public health enlightenment targeted at adolescents both in school and in the community, to highlight the dangers of excessive alcohol use thereby preventing future alcoholism and consequent heart, vascular, brain and liver diseases that may ensue.


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