Pattern of Alcohol Consumption among Commercial Road Transport Workers in a Semi-Urban Community in South Western Nigeria
Objectives: To determine prevalence and pattern of alcohol use, evaluate the level of awareness of the harmful consequences of drinking, and determine the relationship between alcohol use and some selected factors among commercial road transport workers. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: All the five motor parks spread over Ile-Ife, a semi-urban community in south western Nigeria. Results: out of the 403 transport workers, 400 (99.3%) agreed to participate in the study. The questionnaire of one respondent was rejected. The current prevalence rate of alcohol use was 67.2%. Forty seven percent were 'heavy' users; 15.3% 'moderate' users and 37.7% were occasional or 'mild' users. All the users were engaged in the use of commonly available alcoholic beverages in the vicinity of the motor parks. Majority of the respondents (74.5%) reported drinking after work; 13.5% in the mornings; 10.1% when off-duty and 1.9%, during work. Frustrations that are associated with their work topped the list of reasons adduced for drinking. Belonging to lower age groups was significantly associated with current drinking (X2 = 17.46, df = 3, p<0.001). The proportions of respondents with unsatisfactory level of awareness regarding the association of current drinking with road traffic accidents, and with physical complications were high. Conclusion: Current alcohol use and use in a hazardous manner is an important public health problem among commercial road transport workers in Nigeria. There is an urgent need to modify existing legislations or enact new laws on 'driving under the influence' of alcohol, and enforce them.