Factors Associated With Alcohol Abuse among University of Nairobi Students
Hassan, Michelle Njare.
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University provides students with unfamiliar freedom from direct parental guidance and supervision. Interactions with lecturers, on the other hand is different from what students are used to in secondary schools. Social and academic challenges in this environment require proper time management, some are unable to handle the independence and resort to alcohol and other substance abuse. Studies on this phenomenon focus mainly on primary and secondary school students and some youth out of school. This study therefore aimed to establish the prevalence and factors associated with alcohol abuse among the University of Nairobi students. A descriptive cross-sectional survey using the Self-Administered modified AUDIT Questionnaire was applied in data collection. A total of 446 students participated in the study with males (63.7%) dominating. Key Informant Interviews among the staff and student leaders were also conducted. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in data analysis, thus there was a mixed model research design approach to data analysis. The analysis of structured items was mainly done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Prevalence rate of alcohol consumption was (63.2%) among the respondents. Association between where they grew up and alcohol consumption was significant (p=0. 002) with more students who grew up in urban setting likely to consume alcohol. Alcohol abuse measured with AUDIT score shows 3.2% of the respondents were in zone 4 highlighting a possible dependency on alcohol. There was low knowledge on the presence of alcohol policy at the university with only 31.4% knowing the existence of the alcohol policy. From the Key Informant interviews, most of the respondents confirm that the female students are increasing their alcohol intake and might be at par with their male colleagues in the near future. The AUDIT score show likelihood of alcohol dependence among students. There easy access of alcohol by having bars at the campuses, without any time schedule and highly low pricing of alcohol. The university alcohol policy is not in line with the Alcohol Act even though the two were developed in the same year. There is need to review the alcohol policy with regard to that alcohol control act 2010 and ensure the University fraternity adhere to it. Measures need to be put in place to ensure compliance to the policy.