2. The damaging effects of alcohol
(Pictures 11 to 29)
"We all know that beer is the most frequent means to establish friendly relations, to attract sympathy, to seal reconciliation after a quarrel. A friend's visit is thus very often an opportunity to offer something to drink. We are used to offering alcoholic drinks. We know very well that a glass of beer relaxes the atmosphere, makes conversation easier. A little bit of alcohol creates a good atmosphere favourable to friendly contacts. Unfortunately, sometimes the visitor does not stop after the first drink or bottle"
These alcoholic drinks are made by fermenting juice from palm tree, sugar cane, pineapples, sorghum, bananas, etc. One can then distill these fermented alcoholic liquids to obtain alcoholic drinks. In many countries the preparation of these traditional alcohol is prohibited by law in order to protect the population's health. Indeed, habitual consumption of such "hard liquor" brings great misfortune to the families which adopt such a habit.
This wine, which must frst be fermented, is then often drank by a bunch of friends. This activity thus does not bring in any additional income. Moreover, a palm tree used for the production of wine bears no more fruit"
So, how much energy is left for the other tasks: chopping down trees, clearning the forest, working the soil before planting?"
The bunches of nuts disappear: there are no more nuts to sell; no more cooking oil either; the family's income, as well as its available food supplies, drops"
"The father, who is often drunk, seems to live in another world. He does not take care of his family any more. All their problems seem very far away. He no longer sees the numerous difficulties in life clearly;he drowns them in alcohol. The consequences of this are rapid to appear.
The house becomes almost uninhabitable after a few years because it is not kept up Not only the house, but the whole family falls apart for lack of moral, emotional and financial support"
He becomes quick-tempered and rough because he has progressively lost his will, sense of right and wrong and respect for the rules of society. A bout of drunkenness can provoke the end of a friendship or the beginning of a familial quarrel. The day after an acute attack of drunkenness, the alcoholic may have forgotten everything that he said and did the night before; but the people who suffered because of him may not forget as quickly and may harbor resentment
A Yombe proverb says: "He who insults you when he is drunk already had the intention earlier" This proverb shows that alcohol can make us say things that we would normally keep to ourselves if we were sober.
Alcohol reduces the feeling of hunger; one does not feel as much the need to eat. Moreover, alcoholic drinks make one less enthusiastic about working.
"All one's money, all one's efforts are gradually diverted into the preparation, the search for, and the buying of drinks. Consequently, the family's table remain empty, the children have nothing left to eat.
The father does not worry about that. He is only interested in getting his daily ration of alcohol"
Consequences are not slow to appear. The children's studies are affected: they do not pay attention in class since they are hungry, they miss school repeatedly because they have diseases which are not cared for on time, sometimes they are even sent away from school because of unpaid tuition.
Drinkers all fit this Yombe proverb, which, however, is not part of our ancestors wisdom: "Kondolo kopo kondolo mayangi, wena ye kopo wena mayangi" which approximately means: "He who is deprived of alcohol is sad, he who finds a drink, finds happiness"!
The lack of understanding he often encounters at home may lead him to leave his family in order to flee his responsibilities. Most of the time his family's reproaches will not help him to abandon drinking, On the contrary, they will isolate him even more. The presence of his family and friends is very important; they must give him moral support and encourage him to change his habits, strengthen him with their trust.
The alcohol excites him, he thinks he is strong, he no longer recognizes danger, he drives roughly and too quickly. He takes risks when passing. He stops anywhere in search of more drinks. He no longer obeys traffic regulations often the consequences of such behavior are not slow to appear"
The speed of the driver's reflexes are considerably slowed. If danger appears suddenly, he will brake later than if he had not drunk and an accident will occur... Studies have shown that almost half of all road accidents are due to alcohol, justifying the wise precept: "If you drive, don't drink, if you drink, don't drive"
Some victims remain crippled for the rest of their lives, Many others die in the accidents or on the way to the hospital"
This picture is very important, as it helps the educator and the listeners to summarise the talk. It displays some of the main consequences of alcoholism. We might add ruined health due to alcohol's effect on the various organs of the body.
Quickly visit the next slideshow to see how the father can stop drinking and how family can regain happiness.
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