Alcohol use and its consequences in South India: views from a marginalised tribal population.
ABSTRACT Alcohol consumption in India is disproportionately higher among poorer and socially marginalised groups, notably Scheduled Tribes (STs). We lack an understanding of STs own views with regard to alcohol, which is important for implementing appropriate interventions.
This study was undertaken with the Paniyas (a previously enslaved ST) in a rural community in Kerala, South India. The study, nested in a participatory poverty and health assessment (PPHA). PPHA aims to enable marginalized groups to define, describe, analyze, and express their own perceptions through a combination of qualitative methods and participatory approaches (e.g. participatory mapping and ranking exercises). We worked with 5 Paniya colonies between January and June 2008.
Alcohol is viewed as a problem among the Paniyas who reported that consumption is increasing, notably among younger men. Alcohol is easily available in licensed shops and is produced illicitly in some colonies. There is evidence that local employers are using alcohol to attract Paniyas for work. Male alcohol consumption is associated with a range of social and economic consequences that are rooted in historical oppression and social discrimination.
Future research should examine the views of alcohol use among a variety of marginalised groups in developing countries and the different policy options available for these populations. In addition, there is a need for studies that untangle the potential linkages between both historical and current exploitation of marginalized populations and alcohol use.
- SourceAvailable from: Simon OzerPsychology & Developing Societies 01/2013; 25(2):283-309.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Consumption of alcohol has been attributed to different reasons by consumers. Attitude and knowledge about the substance and addiction can be influenced by the cultural background of the individual. The tribal population, where alcohol intake is culturally accepted, can have different beliefs and attributes causing one to take alcohol. This study attempts to examine the reasons for alcohol intake and the belief about addiction and their effect on the severity of addiction in people with a different ethnic background. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was conducted at a Psychiatric institute with a cross-sectional design. The study population included patients hailing from the Jharkhand state, twenty each, belonging to tribal and non-tribal communities. Patients fulfilling the ICD 10 diagnostic criteria of mental and behavioral disorders due to the alcohol dependence syndrome, with active dependence, were taken, excluding those having any comorbidity or complications. The subjects were assessed with specially designed Sociodemographic-Clinical Performa, modified version of Reasons for Substance Use scale, Addiction Belief scale, and the Alcohol Dependence scale. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND RESULTS: A significantly high number of tribals cited reasons associated with social enhancement and coping with distressing emotions rather than individual enhancement, as a reason for consuming alcohol. Addiction was severe in those consuming alcohol to cope with distressing emotions. Belief in the free-will model was noted to be stronger across the cultures, without any correlation with the reason for intake. This cross-sectional study design, which was based on patients, cannot be easily generalized to the community. CONLUSION: Societal acceptance and pressure as well as high emotional problems appears to be the major etiology leading to higher prevalce of substance depedence in tribals. Primary prevention should be planned to fit the needs of the ethnics.Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine 07/2012; 34(3):242-6.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to investigate the magnitude and nature of health inequalities between indigenous (Scheduled Tribes) and non-indigenous populations, as well as between different indigenous groups, in a rural district of Kerala State, India. A health survey was carried out in a rural community (N = 1660 men and women, 18-96 years). Age- and sex-standardised prevalence of underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2), anaemia, goitre, suspected tuberculosis and hypertension was compared across forward castes, other backward classes and tribal populations. Multi-level weighted logistic regression models were used to estimate the predicted prevalence of morbidity for each age and social group. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition was used to further explore the health gap between tribes and non-tribes, and between subgroups of tribes. Social stratification remains a strong determinant of health in the progressive social policy environment of Kerala. The tribal groups are bearing a higher burden of underweight (46.1 vs. 24.3%), anaemia (9.9 vs. 3.5%) and goitre (8.5 vs. 3.6%) compared to non-tribes, but have similar levels of tuberculosis (21.4 vs. 20.4%) and hypertension (23.5 vs. 20.1%). Significant health inequalities also exist within tribal populations; the Paniya have higher levels of underweight (54.8 vs. 40.7%) and anaemia (17.2 vs. 5.7%) than other Scheduled Tribes. The social gradient in health is evident in each age group, with the exception of hypertension. The predicted prevalence of underweight is 31 and 13 percentage points higher for Paniya and other Scheduled Tribe members, respectively, compared to Forward Caste members 18-30 y (27.1%). Higher hypertension is only evident among Paniya adults 18-30 y (10 percentage points higher than Forward Caste adults of the same age group (5.4%)). The decomposition analysis shows that poverty and other determinants of health only explain 51% and 42% of the health gap between tribes and non-tribes for underweight and goitre, respectively. Policies and programmes designed to benefit the Scheduled Tribes need to promote their well-being in general but also target the specific needs of the most vulnerable indigenous groups. There is a need to enhance the capacity of the disadvantaged to equally take advantage of health opportunities.BMC Public Health 05/2012; 12:390. · 2.08 Impact Factor