The measurement of drinking patterns and alcohol problems in Nigeria.J Subst Abuse 2000; 12(1-2):169-81JS
As in most other societies, alcoholic beverages have been consumed in what is present-day Nigeria for a long time. Before the arrival of western factory-made drinks, alcohol consumption was limited to a variety of beverages produced from palm trees and food grains. Today, beer has become the most popular drink in the country but traditional beverages (palm wine, burukutu, ogogoro, pito) are still widely consumed in both rural and urban areas. Though research has shown that heavy drinking seems to be the norm among those who drink any type of alcohol, there is no clear association between drinking and social or health problems. On the other hand, certain types of beverages are linked with positive attributes. Despite their potential significance, these and other issues have not received the attention they deserve in the alcohol research literature on Nigeria and other African countries. The focus of this paper is on the need to take into consideration relevant measurement issues (e.g., container and serving size, alcohol contents, drinking expectancies, perceived risks associated with the consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages, as well as reasons for drinking) in alcohol research. It is suggested that a better understanding of these and related factors is necessary for the advancement of alcohol epidemiology in the country.