Introduction: Experts estimate that unrecorded alcohol makes up a significant share (about 25%) of all alcohol consumed in the former Soviet Republic Belarus. However, our knowledge with respect to the prevalence of the consumption of unrecorded alcohol in this country, as well as the patterns and motives of it consumption remains fragmented.
Objectives: This study was design to explore the prevalence, drinking pattern, types, reasons and correlates of the consumption of unrecorded alcohol among alcohol dependent patients.
Methods: The study was conducted in the Belarusian city Grodno in 2013 with 326 alcohol dependent patients (223 men and 103 women) admitted to narcological clinic using structured interviews.
Results: The results suggest that 52.9% of men and 30.3% of women regularly consume samogon (moonshine), while 11.8% of men and 10.8% of women use surrogates, the most popular among which
are medications with a high percentage of ethanol and industrial spirits. The belief that, according to quality criteria, samogon exceeds licensed vodka is the main motive for its consumption.
Conclusions: The results from present study confirm that the consumption of unrecorded alcohol is common among alcohol dependent patients even though its use may have been underreported. These findings emphasize the urgency of implementing comprehensive alcohol policy, which need to address overall consumption, harmful drinking pattern and taking into account the consumption of alcohol from illicit sources.
Published on: Feb 18, 2015 Pages: 15-19
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