ALCOHOL. A discussion tool

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1 ALCOHOL A discussion tool

2 About the Phuza Wize discussion tool This discussion tool consists of a fifteen-minute DVD and this easy-to-read booklet to guide discussion. Extracts from Soul City TV Series 10 use the power of story to highlight how alcohol abuse affects lives. This booklet provides information and supports discussion and debate about the DVD. Read the information and then use the questions to guide your discussion. PHUZA WIZE. DRINK SAFE. LIVE SAFE is an exciting campaign that aims to build communities capacity to make Safer Social Spaces and reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. The campaign aims to change the way South Africans drink alcohol and to create a culture where people drink alcohol safely. Phuza Wize also aims to lobby for changes to the law at local, provincial and national level to make communities safer.

3 Time to talk Use the questions on page 8 to guide discussions after you watch the DVD: Tips for discussion Make sure that everyone: understands the topic feels comfortable to share freely (e.g. with peers or in a different language) is encouraged to share their thoughts has a chance to participate listens to and respects the views of other participants. A learning tool You can use this discussion tool: as part of community dialogues to trigger discussion and debate in a life skills learning programme in schools or other formal learning settings to watch and talk about with family and friends. 1

4 Alcohol in South Africa Alcohol is legal, but it has many of the same side effects as illegal drugs. Drunk people are more likely to: cause accidents on the road and in workplaces act violently be victims of violence have unsafe sex, which puts them at risk of getting HIV lose their jobs. Spending money on alcohol means less money for food, education, housing and health. Drinking during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months, harms babies and may disable them for life. We need to think about how much damage is done by alcohol abuse and find safer ways to drink alcohol in our communities and homes. 2

5 Alcohol and violence In 2004, nearly half of people who did not die naturally from illness or old age, died in a violent way. Look at these facts: Violent fights cause the second highest number of deaths among young men between the ages of 15 and 44. Half of people who die and up to three quarters of people who are injured in towns and cities have drunk alcohol. South African law states that no-one may drive if they have had more than a certain amount to drink. The amount of alcohol in someone s blood is called the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). In 2003, nearly half of drivers killed on the roads were over the legal BAC limit. Alcohol is connected to 61% of pedestrian deaths. 3

6 Young people and alcohol Young people are most likely to get sick and suffer psychological problems if they binge drink. Binge drinking is when you drink more than five drinks in one sitting. Research shows that the brain continues to develop through adolescence and into a person s early and mid-twenties. Young people who drink risk brain damage, poor memory and bad co-ordination and motor skills (movement skills). One study showed that 46.7% of boys and 18.5% of girls in Grade 12 drink alcohol. Young people are more likely to drink if they live in communities where they can get alcohol easily and where people around them abuse alcohol. 4

7 Did you know? Alcohol is a drug that changes the way you think, act and feel. More than 50% of victims of fatal violence and more than 70% of victims of non-fatal violence have drunk alcohol. In a study of women abused by their spouses, 69% identified alcohol/drug abuse as the main cause of the conflict that leads to abuse. It is safe for a woman to drink not more than 2 units of alcohol in one sitting and for a man to drink not more than 4 units in one sitting. 1 unit = 1 small glass of wine or 1 can of beer 5

8 Phuza Wize 10 Criteria for Safer Social Spaces 1. Do not sell alcohol to drunk people. 2. Do not sell alcohol to children under Do not sell alcohol to pregnant women. 4. Discourage customers from driving when they are drunk. 5. Display safe sex messages and have condoms available. 6. Sell food and soft drinks and make sure there is water available. 7. Do not have more than 3 people per square metre. 8. Have good lighting, clean toilets and good security. 9. Mark inside and outside areas clearly and stick to these areas. 10. Opening and closing times: 14:00 20:00 (Sunday) 13:00 20:00 (Monday to Thursday) 13:00 00:00 (Friday and Saturday) 6

9 What can communities do? The Phuza Wize Campaign encourages us to look at alcohol and alcohol abuse in our homes, schools and communities. We need to work with the owners of taverns, liquor shops, bars and shebeens to create Safer Social Spaces. These are safe places where people can socialise and drink alcohol without being afraid of violence. In our communities we need to make sure that liquor outlets stick to the Phuza Wize rules for Safer Social Spaces so that we can reduce violence that results from alcohol abuse. Government needs to improve laws that state how places that sell alcohol should be run and they need to make sure that people obey these laws. Communities can try to influence their local municipalities to limit alcohol advertising and buying and selling of alcohol within 1 km of schools. They can also work with learners and educators to make sure that schools are alcohol-free zones. 7

10 Watch the DVD and then answer these questions: 1. What do you think of the story? 2. How did it make you feel? Why? 3. Do you agree with the choices the characters made? a) Why does the teacher get drunk and then have unprotected sex? b) Why do you think the girlfriend does not insist on using a condom? 4. What would you do differently? 5. Are there any alcohol problems in your family and community? 6. What solutions have you found? 7. What problems do you struggle to solve? 8. Why do some people in our communities drink too much? 9. What problems are there in your family and community because of alcohol abuse? 10. What actions can you take to solve the problems that go with drinking too much? 11. Are there taverns in your community? a) How can you control your drinking at the tavern? b) What can tavern owners do to reduce alcohol abuse? Add questions of your own. 8

11 Places that can help Local Community Policing Forum (CPF) find out the number of your CPF at your local police station. National Department of Social Development (012) Toll free Substance Abuse Helpline SMS Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) National Helpline Al Anon (for family members) National Helpline South African Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (SANCA) Family and Marriage Society of Southern Africa (FAMSA) To order this tool contact: Soul City Distribution Centre: or (from outside South Africa) For information: 9

12 Thabo, the school principal, faces a drunk-driving charge. Will he have to pay a fine of R and lose his driver s licence? Or will he be sentenced to six years in jail for his crime? Milton has fallen in love with the woman of his dreams. They get drunk and have unprotected sex. What will happen? Read the information in the booklet and talk to your family, friends and community about what actions we can take to protect ourselves and our communities from alcohol abuse. Be Phuza Wize Take control and take action to create Safer Social Spaces CDC/PEPFAR DISCLAIMER This discussion tool was partially supported by Cooperative Agreement Number U62/CCU024560/01 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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