Impacts of Alcoholism on Family Welfare (a Case Study of Reforming Alcoholics in Suneka Division, Kisii South District, Nyanza Province, Kenya)

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CHAPTER ONE 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Introduction This chapter contains the background of the problem, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, justification of the study, limitations of the study, the scope of the study and the conceptual framework. 1.2 Background to the Problem Seventy percent of Kenyan families are affected by alcoholism (Simiyu, 2006). Man has, over time, indeed come to acknowledge the fact that alcoholism is indeed destructive to the human race. This explains the reason as to why numerous studies have been conducted and some are still underway in relations to various areas where alcoholism is indeed a major threat. It is however important to note that most of these studies are mainly centered on the alcoholic.

Alcoholism is a term that has many and sometimes conflicting definitions. In current and historic usage, alcoholism refers to a condition that results from continued consumption of alcohol despite the social and medical impacts that are raised by the vice. Alcoholism also referred to, in the nineteenth century and partly in the twentieth century, as dipsomania, may also refer to pre-occupation with or compulsion towards the consumption of alcohol and/or impaired ability to recognize the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption. The Macmillan dictionary (2002) defines the word alcoholism as a medical condition that makes it difficult to control the amount of alcohol you drink.

1.2.0 Alcoholism The dictionary definition of alcoholism is, a disorder characterized by the excessive consumption of and dependence on alcoholic beverages leading to physical and physiological harm and impaired social and vocational functionality. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research defines alcoholism as

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a layman’s term for alcohol dependence and abuse. The medical encyclopedia defines alcoholism as a popular term for two disorders, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependent. The definition of alcoholism adopted for this study was a disorder that involves long term, repeated, uncontrolled, compulsive and excessive use of alcoholic beverages that impairs the drinker’s health and social relations. In this study alcoholism was characterized by frequent drinking, drinking five or more days in a week.

1.2.1 Family Welfare The Macmillan dictionary (2002) defines a family as a group of people who live together and are all related to one another, usually consisting of parents and children. It also defines welfare as the health and happiness of people. The definition of family welfare adopted in this study encompassed physical and psychological health, finances, employment, social life and relationships Velleman, (as cited at www.alcoholandfamilies.org). Family welfare was characterized by economy, health and safety, legal proceedings, marriage stability, responsibilities, and withdrawal.

The Macmillan dictionary (2002) defines economy as the careful use of money, products or time that very little is wasted. Family economy in this study was characterized by the amount of money spent on alcohol, investment ventures and savings in respect to individual’s income.

The dictionary definition of health is the condition of your body especially whether or not you are ill. Safety on the other hand refers to the fact that a thing is safe. For purpose of this study health and safety was characterized by instances of alcohol related illness or disorders, domestic violence both on women and children attributable to alcohol, accidents or any other act done which exposed the individual to harm as a result of the influence of alcohol on the person (Alcoholic) or on the family, and psychological state.

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Responsibility is defined by the Macmillan dictionary (2002), as a state of being in charge of someone or something and of making sure that they do or what happens to them is right or satisfactory. In the study responsibility was characterized by...
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