THE PERILS OF ALCOHOL ABUSE AMONGST THE YOUTH.
I was walking home from school when I met this young man staggering home from a bar, singing songs by Dr. Paa Bobo. And his friends where trying to call him back but he would take none of that. He walked sluggishly away from them as what was worse was that, he was very unconscious of his actions. He kicked stones, broke branches of trees and swiped the branches around in a motion that seemed like he was furiously whipping someone whilst his steps were very unstable.
This spectacle, which I witnessed during a recent visit to the Eastern Region, is indicative of the moral quagmire that the nation finds itself in today and the disproportionate effect that it is having on our youth, the putative future leaders of Ghana. By extension, it is also a foreshadowing of the social crisis that awaits us in the next 10 to 15 years as these young men and women become parents and heads of households wrecked by alcoholism and its associated social ills.
Already, doctors are reporting a steady rise in cases of fetal alcohol syndrome, where children are born already drunk because their mothers drank heavily during pregnancy. Such children will require a great deal of medical care, which will tax an already-overburdened and under-resourced health system. And there will be many who would end up being at once a burden and a loss to society, from alcoholics to criminals to loafers who live off the sweat of others. They will be the architects and carpenters and masons and accountants whom we would need for national development but would not have because they were sick and uneducable.
Among men, liver diseases, often associated with alcoholism, are also reported to be on the increase. The economic and social implications now and in the future are many. Extended absenteeism from work by these victims of excessive alcohol consumption means loss