Guyana’s “come tek a drink” culture encouraging more alcohol consumption by youths -Ramjattan

Guyana’s “come tek a drink” culture encouraging more alcohol consumption by youths   -Ramjattan

-by Dennis Glasgow-

Guyana’s Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan has expressed concern about the country’s alcohol consumption problem and he believes it has become more serious alcohol because young young people  are being introduced to alcohol at an early stage in their lives.

Some surveys have indicated that the age of alcohol initiation in Guyana is roughly around 11-years-old.

During the opening of a training programme hosted by the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit, the Public Security Minister said Guyana has got to look at how it cultivates the next generation.

“I have spoken on other occasions as to what may be causing this habit to be within our communities and it has to do largely with how we cultivate our next generation. We sometimes feel that we could tell our young kids, ‘come tek a lil drink’ and we have done two surveys; A School survey and a household survey that proves that children in Guyana start drinking at the age of 11 and that we are, Guyanese, are the biggest binge drinkers in the entire Caribbean. When we tek one, we want two, then we want three, then we want four and five and so on; then we get drunk.”

Mr. Ramjattan also stated that drinking habits contribute to other social issues, including domestic violence and other forms of violence and substance abuse.

He noted that the Government has been making efforts to remedy the issues, by implementing the 2:00am “curfew” that was not well received by the general public, especially the young people.

“And then when poor Ramjattan seh the curfew must be twelve o’clock, everybody cuss him down and it must be 2 o’clock. And then even when it is 2 o’clock, everybody also because of a certain event ‘Mr. Ramjattan please for permission to go beyond.”

He went on to explain that, that move was made in the best interest of the public and even Promoters continue to ask for the curfew to be lifted on special occasions.

This he added, can continue to negatively affect the young people, and ultimately the public. He has not provided any data or study to back up his belief that shutting down bars at 2am will see a drop in alcohol consumption.

Just recently, President David Granger described the abuse of alcohol as one of the evils facing Guyana. He said the Government intends to put more systems in place to tackle alcohol abuse.

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