Exploring the psycho-social determinants of heavy alcohol drinking amongst women in Oshana, Namibia
Heavy alcohol drinking is a serious health concern in many African countries such as Namibia and South Africa. The heavy use of alcohol is mainly due to avoid coping with the realities of life. There is however, a paucity of research on heavy alcohol use amongst women, particularly in Oshana region of Namibia, where problem drinking is threatening the well-being of women and society. This study explored the psycho-social determinants of women who are heavy alcohol users in the Oshana region. The study design was explorative and descriptive within a qualitative approach. The social constructionist theory underpinned this study. Four participants were randomly selected from the Developmental Social Services caseload which led the researcher to snowball the other four participants for a total of eight participants in the study. Data was collected by means of semi-structured face-to-face interview with the aid of an interview guide. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and field notes were taken. Thematic analysis was used to analyse and interpret the data. The participants identified with coping with realities among women heavy drinking. They reported psychological and social factors affected the well- being of women drinking. These factors included poverty, unemployment, family pressure or influence, availability and accessibility of alcohol, expression, stress, low self-esteem, fear of loneliness and many others. Based on these results, some of the suggestions put forward by all the participants and the researcher concluded the study with a recommendation that an awareness can be created by service providers such as social workers working with women who are heavy drinkers to establish and improve alcohol programmes in Oshana Region and Namibia as a whole.