Effects of illicit brew drinking and intervention measures on unemployed youth in Bungoma County, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of alcohol consumption and intervention measures taken to help youth who were aged between 15-25 years and unemployed in Bungoma County. Literature on history of alcoholism, levels of the consumption, types of brews and characteristics of the young consumers was reviewed. The study was guided by three theories; social learning theory, symbolic interaction theory and deviance theory. Data was collected in several wards of Bungoma East Sub-county from among ninety (93) unemployed youth consumers of alcohol, several key informants and case studies. Findings of the study indicated that majority of the unemployed youth were from poor homesteads and dependent on their parents for their livelihoods. Most of the drinking youth ventured into drinking as a result of stress notwithstanding the dangers involved in it. Peer pressure played a role in luring most of them into drinking with hope of solving stress. The drinking youth perceived problems related to alcoholism as health, accidents, crime, immorality, and unemployment. Intervention measures by the government, church, community, and parents to save the youth indulging in drinks had no feasible impact to the youth. There was a danger of the drinking youth transforming into a youth culture of alcoholic addictions, leading to unproductive members of society unless adequate mitigation measures were promptly undertaken. There is need for urgent professional intervention measures including training and employment opportunities that could discourage the youth from engaging in drinking and make them productive.
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