Alcohol causes tremendous harm all over the world. But while young people in the high-income countries are somewhat protect thanks to the welfare state system and health care systems, youth in the low- and middle-income countries are more exposed to the harm of alcohol and other drugs, and their stories need to be a reminder that we need to do everything we can to prevent alcohol use among youth. In this spirit, I share with you another case study:
“Case Study of Kiganda Alex
Alex is a 17 year old male who engaged in using alcohol and other drugs after dropping out of school when his father, who was taking well care of him and paying his school fees, died.
He liked music and this encouraged him to join a karaoke dancing group called ‘Bright Star’. This group used to entertain people in bars. They used to go to bars like the Diana pub at Bwaise, Karibu inn at Mperere, park view in Kampala and many others.
This group was composed of 6 girls and 4 four boys including him. This group had a manager who was known as Mr. Dee who used to pay them after each performance. They used to receive two hundred to three thousand shillings only.
There was a day when the manager brought an idea on the side of the girls to dance naked – because he claimed that most youth like watching such kind of entertainment. At first the girls resisted claiming that they will feel shy and also fear the media because some just escaped home. The manager went ahead and convinced the performers that he will raise their payment when they accept his idea. Since most of them needed money, they accepted.
One of the girls brought an idea of using drugs in order not to be shy on the stage while performing. All girls started using drugs. Alex said that he started using drugs not because of being shy, but because he just wanted to look like some other artists who use drugs during their performances like bobi wine.
Whenever he could go to stage, he used to have energy and dance very well to the extent that the audience could stand and clap for him. This gave him courage to always use drugs whenever he had a show.
He used to go late at night because his mother knew the job his son was doing and she also used to support him and sometimes she could go and watch her son’s performance. He used to wonder why some parent didn’t want their children to join karaoke yet his mother does allow him. This increased the love he had towards his mother saying that no one on this earth can understand him except his mother.
At first this boy was using only mairungi and later he started tasting other like petrol, marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol like waragi, beer, bell and many others.
Because of drugs he started vomiting blood, sometimes urinating on the bed and this made his mother to hate him. His friends at home advised him to leave drugs but he refused and when his mother got married to another man, they chased him out of the house because her new husband never wanted to stay near a drunkard person. With drugs, he had nothing to do even he couldn’t fight for his house which his father had left for him.
One day his boss refused him to go to stage because he arrived late. Alex fought him and this forced the boss to chase him out of the group. The situation became worse to the extent that he could sleep without having eaten anything. In the village every one was fed up with him because he would use a lot of alcohol and shout at night. When the UYDEL drama-theatre group conducted a community drama show in their village, sensitizing the community about the consequences of using drugs, the community member referred him to UYDEL for help.”