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The Prevalence of Alcohol Consumption and Common Influencing Factors to Start Alcohol Consumption in Early Age: Health Fair Study in Dominica

Olamide Olayinka, Uchenna Ozoekwe, Chidambra D Halari, Moheem Halari, Oluwaseyi Joy Alao, Temiloluwa Oladoyin Ige, Srinivas Medavarapu

Background: Alcohol is one of the most widely used recreational drugs in the world however, over the last decade its consumption has become an increasing concern along public health policy makers and international development agencies. The Caribbean populace particularly has in recent times had challenges from alcohol abuse which has posed significant morbidity and mortality of all age groups. This research has its focus on alcohol consumption among young adults using Dominica as case study.

Aim of the study: To determine the prevalence of alcohol consumption in young adults in Dominica. Also, to determine the common reasons and influencing factors to start alcohol consumption in younger age groups in Dominica.

Methods and Findings: A total of 73 respondents from the city of Roseau and its neighbouring villages who attended a health fair organised in All Saints University School of Medicine, Roseau, Dominica. The research was a cross sectional study that involved use of a questionnaire for the collection of data. The findings showed that 66.67% consumed alcohol with majority of them being males (73.91%). Onset for consumption was higher in the age group 16-20 years with reasons being: peer pressure, social activities, curiosity and adult influence. Again, the age group 16-20 years had the highest onset for alcohol consumption giving major reason of social activity (71.43%).

Conclusion: The study showed that most common age to start consuming alcohol was between 16-20 years and common reasons to start included ‘social activities’ and ‘peer pressure’ for majority and for a few ‘curiosity’ and ‘adult influence’. It becomes incumbent on the government, healthcare practitioners and other stakeholders to promote responsible drinking and discourage premature drinking. In conclusion, applying regression analysis, age is a predictor of alcohol consumption and for each unit increase in age, there is an average increase of 13% in alcohol consumption considering a constant gender among Dominicans.