Are we failing to deal with the problem of alcohol abuse in South Africa?
What are we doing right as a country? We distribute condoms to clubs and taverns and expect drunk people to use them, we do acknowledge alcohol impairs judgment but we also believe somehow when it comes to sex they will remember to use condoms. We are a country that produce and consumes more Alcohol than any other country on the continent and as a result we shouldn’t be shocked that we are moving into a state of special challenges that are a direct result of alcohol abuse.
We have directed millions of rands as a country into combating the risky behavior of drinking and driving, we have seen a rise in unplanned pregnancies as a result of alcohol consumption resulting with reckless behavior. But that is not the end of it, did you know South Africa has the highest number of babies born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. This is because 1 in 4 women in South Africa drink heavily during their pregnancy, so we can hypothetically conclude 1 in 4 new born babies are at a higher risk if not born with the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
The symptoms of this totally preventable although untreatable disorder are varied from a child to child depending on the severity of their conditions. Slow growth, low concentration levels, uncontrollable emotions and learning difficulties are amongst the most prevalent conditions, kids diagnosed with FAS are often prescribed ADHD medication; Ritalin, Adderall and the likes.
There are 2 sides to this story; we can choose to blame the pregnant women or we can confront the socioeconomic conditions that drive these women into drinking as a way to escape their realities. The goal is to move to a point were no child will be born with FAS that will be a society free from alcohol abuse.