IT IS a well-known fact that fake alcoholic drinks have serious adverse effects on people’s health.
This is because such drinks like the famous junta in Zambia can have serious adverse health effects such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. It can also lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma.
The tragedy is that many imbibers of such drinks, especially the youth, are not aware of what these illicit alcoholic drinks are made from.
It has been established that drinks like junta are made from chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and motor vehicles screen wash, as well as methanol and some fuels.
Methanol, a substance which can be used in fake junta, may cause permanent blindness.
Unfortunately, producing fake alcohol is being seen as a way of making money and it can be bought cheaply by youths.
However, it’s a big problem because of the risks it poses to people’s health, especially our youth who turn to junta as a fad because it can cause anything from nausea to blindness and even death.
This, we think, should be the concern of not only the government but parents and other stakeholders as well because this centres on lives of human beings.
We think time has come especially for government to pursue producers of this illicit drink which is decimating the youths, the future of Zambia.
Junta has been around in Zambia for decades and it seems it is here to stay because no serious efforts are being taken to rid the nation of it.
These dangerous spirits are strategically packaged in small bottles in Zambia and have become a part of life for most young people oblivious of their dangers.
Some youths have readily admitted that because junta is cheap it easily sends individuals who take it into a drunken stupor within minutes.
Lazarus Kombe, a youth of John Laing in Lusaka, says many young people have resorted to drinking potent beverages due to lack of employment.
“Most of us drink as a way of drowning our sorrows in such kinds of drinks. We also love these brands because we cannot afford to buy the expensive safe ones that some people buy,” he says
Kombe says that most youths are struggling to make ends meet hence a number of them having turned to small businesses.
“At times we drink whatever we can lay our hands on and these cheap beers normally find their way in our hands. The spirits in small bottles have become young people’s favourite because there is nothing to keep us busy,” he says.
He says that some consumers have become alcoholics as they are forced to engage in daily drinking sprees to drown their sorrows and frustrations.
Some of the youths have also acknowledged the negative effects of consuming such alcoholic beverages frequently, but cannot avoid it due to lack of jobs.
“Empower us by giving us loans or jobs and most of us will stop spending most of our times abusing alcohol,” he said.
Junta is a killer drink which should be quickly eradicated from the communities for the good of our youths who have now taken to social vices to drown their purported frustrations.