THE issue of reckless alcohol drinking among our youths has continued to make effervescent headlines in almost every media outlet in Zambia today.
It is a fact that in many countries, including Zambia, children and young adolescents living in abstaining sub-cultures take to drinking strong alcohol because it is looked upon as a transition-marker.
Many of them think that drinking alcohol represents a figurative expression of the status-transformation from adolescence to adulthood.
Therefore, it is not surprising in Zambia today that young adolescents’ use of alcohol is rather widespread and is certainly killing our youths en masse.
The usual mind-numbing song of ennui continues to be blamed for youths taking to illicit alcohol consumption and, in case of Zambia, it is the famous junta which is causing mayhem with shocking outcomes.
Unfortunately for Zambia, figures of youths taking to strong illicit alcoholic drinks and drugs seem to be rising each year with no sign of an immediate lasting riposte.
We do not know if Zambian youths are aware that age of alcohol debut is related to adult alcohol consumption with later elevated alcohol consumption, leading to serious health and social problems.
There is no doubt, however, that drinking is more harmful to teens than adults because their brains are still developing throughout puberty and well into young adulthood.
Drinking during this critical growth period can lead to permanent damage in brain function, particularly as it relates to memory, motor skills (ability to move) and synchronisation.
We cannot therefore lay it on with a trowel that taking of junta will continue in many cases lead to deaths from alcohol poisoning.
We wish, therefore, to share the trepidations of a Lusaka resident, Mr Bernard Legge, who righty fears that junta is wiping out our youths.
Mr Legge of Lusaka’s Chawama Township is probably not the only one who is worried about alcohol consumption among the youth in our various communities. The vice has simply become a huge national disgrace.
Mr Legge says alcohol abuse is destroying the lives of many youths in the surrounding townships who have taken to living offhand lives.
As a result the youths, the professed future leaders, are getting sick and dying every day at tender ages.
It is not a secret that the type of alcohol the youths are abusing, commonly known as junta, is being sold for as low as K3.50 and K4, which is why the youths are sadly able to easily afford it.
Mr Legge has since appealed to Government and other stakeholders to come on board and help curb the vice and save the future of the nation.
He says some of the youths have completed Grade 12 and that it is ill-starred that at the end of the day, they have no jobs and the only thing they know is abusing alcohol and fighting in the communities.
Mr Legge says in Zambia, especially Lusaka, youths are dying every day because of junta and is disappointed with the makers of this potent liquor who are only interested in huge profits at the expense human life.
So, unless this wanton alcohol consumption by our youths is totally stopped or controlled, there are no future leaders to talk of.