Thursday, February 22, 2024

Alcohol harm up despite steady drinking levels in Botswana

Whilst the rates of alcohol consumption have remained relatively stable over the past decade in Botswana, the National Alcohol Household Poll states that alcohol-related harm has increased and that 80 per cent of adults consume alcohol with men more likely to drink than women.

According to the poll, the majority of Batswana who drink alcohol consume alcohol on three days or less per week (73 percent), while about a twenty three percent of people drink on four or more days per week, and nine percent drink daily.

According to the poll whilst the rates of alcohol consumption have remained relatively stable over the past decade, the rates of alcohol-related harm have spiked.

John Modise who was involved in the survey said “they are not certain as to what could be causing this. But what i can say is that we have Batswana who are heavy drinkers and this might explain why there increased incidence of alcohol harm.”

The poll also showed that 35 percent of survey respondents said they had been victims of alcohol-related violence, and one in five parent respondents indicated that their child had on one or more occasions been harmed or put at risk of harm because of someone else’s drinking.

Amongst other things, the survey showed that Batswana drink more or less the same way they did a decade ago. “There is a slight decrease in average per capita alcohol consumption,” states the survey adding that what is worrisome is the fact that seventy percent of poll respondents reported being at ease with the amount of alcohol they consumed.

“What we realised is the fact that there is a tremendous level of ignorance about health risks involved in heavy drinking,” said Modise adding that seven in ten Batswana consider themselves safe and sensible drinkers, yet thirty percent of people drink to get drunk at least once a month.

Only 40 percent of survey respondents reported being aware of the connection between alcohol use and heart health, and 28 percent were aware of the link between alcohol use and stroke.


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