Title: Oh, go on-HAVE ONE MORE
Year of Publication: 2009
Author: Dr.Diyanath Samarasinghe
Subject: Three easy on Alcohol Matters
Summary: Alcohol and us, Alcohol and pleasure, Alcohol and poverty.
Conclusion: Poverty is not just low income. Nor are poor people a uniform and honogi8nenoues mass, whose development needs are all the same. But some common characteristics that apply to poor living conditions can be recognised, such as the lack of boundaries leading to others including to personal life, aspirations been limited and all extra income been diverted uncontrollably into readymade unproductive channel- specially alcohol use. There are forces top addresses within and outside [poor communities that contribute to enshrining that people do not escape from poverty.
The impact of alcohol on human development is not only on economic matters but also on general wellbeing- including healthy social relating. Alcohol affects both aspects. I6t is a sign9onfiocant contributor to maintaining and worsening economic difficulties and it likely plays a role in generating poverty too. It keeps poor people collectively poor. Alcohol consumption is driven strongly by ritual and symbolic pressure and not only by the desire for it chemical effects. Huge alcohol expenses impact not only on the families of heavy consumers but also on the communities as a whole. Custom associated with alcohol use ensure that those who consume little or no alcohol have to subsidize those who consume more.
There is a mage synergy between alcohol use and poverty in damaging people’s wellbeing, including their physical health. The combined influence of these two factors often has disastrous impact. A particular example is the permission that intoxicated individuals are given to interfere in the affairs of others. This social practice causes heightened harm in poorer settings/ where the associated overcrowding allows intrusion in to each other’s personal lives. The combine effect on the powerless is particularly nasty.
Actions to reduce poverty pay relatively little attention to modifying people’s spending habits and the factors that govern such habits. These include both local and remote influences – the impact of which can be modified by successful collective action. Lack of personal control over expenditure is particularly evident in relation to special events and celebrations. Alcohol provides a good “entry point” to engage communities in a process of positive change or development, which includes taking control over their established patterns of expenditures. People find it quite feasible to reduce their collective alcohol expenditure, when guided to address collectively the determinants of use.
Responses to poverty, alcohol problem and their combined effects on human development would do well to consider the following recommendations:
• Poverty reduction strategic plan should spell out clearly their underline assumptions and premises and be comprehensive in their approach. There should be greater attention to the great variety and diversity of people and communities classified as “poor”.
• Comprehensive strategy should include attention to common factors that impede progress of poor families and communities, and ways of overcoming these. Alcohol is an example of such factors, while the tendency for people in a crowded community to obstruct progress of others is another.
• Poverty reduction interventions must include ways of improving management of limited resources. Unaffordable expenditure on substances such as alcohol, or on special events and celebrations, are examples of things that can readily be changed.
• Strategic plans should provide space for local initiatives and actively seek lessons that can apply across settings.
• Proposed poverty reduction interventions should spell out clearly the process that they propose to generate, within families, communities and society at large, through which their expected results are to be reached.
• There are many local or community level initiatives that deserve to be a poverty of broad poverty reduction initiatives. Examples are available of success using interventions base3d on specific theoretical premises- which allow dissemination across a wide variety of settings.