Contributing factors to alcohol abuse among secondary school pupils: a case of four selected secondary schools in Lusaka urban
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Alcohol abuse is highly prevalent in many countries in sub-Saharan (Coldiron et al., 2007) and it has been estimated that there is a sharp increase in consumption of alcohol and the worrying trend is among school children. Hence the study was conducted to investigate the factors that are contributing to alcohol abuse among school boys and girls in Lusaka Urban. The specific objectives of the study were to identify the factors that contribute to alcohol abuse among school boys and girls in Lusaka urban; to determine the patterns of alcohol abuse among school boys and girls in Lusaka urban; and to find out the measures that have been put in place to mitigated alcohol abuse among school boys and girls in Lusaka urban. The study employed a case study research design and was conducted in Lusaka Urban. The study only included four school of which two were government schools and unisex and a private school that was co-education. The study had a study sample of 212 participants of which 204 were pupils and 8 were teachers. The study revealed that indeed school boys and girls are drinking alcohol and that usually they start drinking between the ages of 15-18 years (grade 10 to 11). The study findings on who drinks most between boys and girls were in contradiction with a good number of recent researches as they revealed that boys drink more than girls. Further the study revealed that usually pupils drink on special occasions and that they drink more than five (5) bottles of alcohol. On factors that contribute to alcohol abuse among school boys and girls, the study revealed having parents and family members that drink, lack of parental involvement, poor self-control, having friends that drink, peer pressure and stress and depression as the major contributing factors. On the measures that have been put in place to mitigate alcohol abuse among school boys and girls, the study reviewed that teachers holding talks with the pupils and schools providing guidance and counselling services as the major measures that have been put in place. On the question of how effective the mitigation measures have been, the study revealed that they have not being very effective as pupils still drink. Based on the findings of the study it was reviewed that factors that contribute to alcohol abuse are found at home, at school and in the community, hence it is recommended that parents, the school and community work hand in hand to mitigate alcohol abuse among school boys and girls in Lusaka Urban. Key words: Alcohol Abuse, Secondary School Children, Contributing Factors, and Mitigation.
The University of Zambia