SA is the 6th ‘drunkest’ country in the world

SA is the 6th ‘drunkest’ country in the world

South Africans are consuming much more alcohol than is considered healthy.

Man pouring whiskey in to glass/ iStock
Man pouring whiskey in to glass/ iStock

There is no denying the dangers associated with drinking too much alcohol. Countless lives and families have been destroyed due to excessive alcohol consumption.

But, despite government initiatives to reduce alcohol consumption, such as heavy “sin taxes” on alcohol, it seems South Africans still drink copious amounts of liquor.

The country was ranked the world’s 6th drunkest country by the World Health Organisation.

According to the WHO’s report, beer is by far the most consumed drink with 56% of drinkers marking it as their tipple of choice.

How much should we be drinking? 

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa recommends not more than one to three drinks a week, with a drink being a 340mg beer or a 142mg glass of wine. Sadly, the average South African drinker guzzled 30 litres of alcohol in 2016, reports Business Day.

Danger of drinking too much alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can have serious repercussions. Let’s look at some of the dangers of consuming too much alcohol:

Car accidents – Alcohol abuse is behind at least 65% of car accidents, with 5 943 of 9 175 drivers being charged with drunk driving in 2018, reports South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD).

Domestic violence - According to World Health Organisation, alcohol consumption, especially at harmful and hazardous levels is a major contributor to the occurrence of intimate partner violence.

The organisation reports that in South Africa 65% of women experiencing spousal abuse within the last 12 months reported that their partner always or sometimes used alcohol before the assault.

Death – Business Live reports that 6% of all deaths in the country, 10% of men and 2% of women, are attributable to alcohol use.

WHO reports that the harmful use of alcohol results in approximately 2.5 million deaths each year globally.

Diseases – Alcohol abuse is a causal factor in 60 types of diseases and injuries and a component cause in 200 others, reports WHO.

WebMD reports that alcohol abuse causes cancer, liver disease, anaemia, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.

Work productivity – Being an alcoholic can affect your productivity, especially at work. Drinking too
much alcohol can affect problem-solving skills, judgment and concentration. You might also find yourself missing work due to hangovers.

Read the below article on how you can help a family member suffering from alcohol abuse.

ALSO READ: How to live with an alcoholic family member

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Image courtesy of iStock/ OlegEvseev

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