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Background

Substance Abuse continues to pose a health danger to humanity. Alcohol abuse, in comparison to other substances, is the leading cause of substance related deaths (Benjamin, 2003). It is estimated that of the two billion people who consume alcohol worldwide , 76.3 million people have alcohol abuse disorders (WHO,2004).  About 40 million people are estimated to abuse drugs worldwide(UN report on drug abuse 2009).

Ugandan Situation

In Uganda 44% of adults Ugandans drink alcohol and 23% are heavy episodic drinkers (UN, 2006). In 2011, WHO reported that alcohol consumption per capita for Uganda was 11.9litres and hence the second highest in Africa. Cases of drug abuse are equally rampant especially among the youth. Nicotine, Cannabis and Khat are the commonest although others like cocaine, heroin and amphetamine are starting to take root in the society.

  • Impact: Uganda has the highest consequences among listed drinkers around the world. (Kathryn, 2010)
  • Economy : Uganda demographic healthy survey of 2004 supports the assertions that indeed there is a link between alcohol and poverty and further recognizes excessive alcohol consumption as a development issue of an enormous magnitude.
  • Policy : In July 2005, the 7th parliament of Uganda expressed concern on the unacceptable high level of alcohol consumption and requested for a policy to guide national response (National Draft Alcohol Control Policy, 2009).
  • Could Uganda be the drunkest place on earth? (Top documentary films)

Problems of the substance abuse (SA)

Deaths: Alcohol causes an estimated 2.5 million deaths every year, of which a significant proportion occurs in the young (WHO, 2010) for example;

  • Drunken drivers are involved in 50%of all automotive fatalities and this percentage increases to 75% when only accidents occurring in the evening are considered.
  • Alcohol use and related disorders are also associated with 50% of all homicides and 25% of all suicides (Benjamin,2003 )
  • Poverty: Alcohol abuse leads to poor employment/career performance resulting into poverty (Johns Hopkins university, 1995)
  • Crime: abuse of drugs leads to criminal activities.
  • Diseases and disability: use of drugs leads to psychiatric problems, and increase the spread of high –risk infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS  (WHO,2010)

Some Other Related Articles

  • New Vision Wednesday, May 30th 2012 Pg 22, Redeemed from Alcohol
  • New Vision Monday, June 18,2012 Pg 27, when alcoholism invades workplace
  • New Vision, Monday, July 16,2012 Pg…, Don’t drink your job away
  • Sunday Vision, July 22, 2012, I swallowed 500 pellets of Cocaine. Girl tells how drug lords hire and destroy Ugandan youth.Pg 1, 2and 48
  • Bukedde, Thursday, June 29,2012 Pg 16, Omwenge omungi gwenanywa gundwanziza ekibumba