Experiences of people who abuse alcohol in Wakivule Village, Luwero District
Kaduwanema, Musisi John
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I conducted an exploratory qualitative case study on experiences of people who abuse alcohol in Wakivule village, Luwero district (Uganda). This study sought to describe the effects of alcohol abuse on individual and their families, the attributions that are given for alcohol abuse and the ways in which people manage consequences of substance abuse. The study uses constructivist narratives and the strengths perspective as theoretical bases. A total of 10 participants were individually interviewed in addition to conducting three key informant interviews and one focus group discussion. Data was subjected to content analysis by way of coding and the identification of emerging themes. Findings indicate that the consequences of alcohol abuse include challenges at work, family conflict, financial problems, economic under development, marginalization and ill health. The attributed causes of alcohol abuse include physical pain, free will, divine fate, depression, socialization, availability and social injustice. The strategies for managing alcohol abuse include withdrawal from society, rationalization, political activism, self-control, medical and local remedies. These findings show that experiences of alcohol abuse were multi-faceted, diverse, complex and non-linear. Consequently, a holistic understanding of alcohol abuse which gives credence to both medical and anthropological conceptualizations of substance abuse is required. More importantly, people who experience alcohol abuse should be given a voice and credence when studying this phenomenon and designing contextually relevant interventions. In doing so, I call for a developmental social work approach to supporting people who abuse alcohol.