The so-called second generation alcoholic drinks rose to popularity and became a drink of choice to many especially the socially vulnerable as they have a tendency to drink more. Due to its affordable pricing and availability, the better option for the earger throats. They offered a good bargain, one got more for less; value for money and fast if not instant results. Due to the high alcohol content mostly ranging between 35% to 40% v/v it passes for a more potent option after changaa of course.
Initially, production met set standards and regulations thus the products that found their way into the local market were safe according to the various regulatory bodies. When the demand began to sour it caught the attention of unscrupulous businessmen and women out to make money by any means. This brought about counterfeiting of genuine brands with bottles being refilled with all sorts of concoctions with intoxicating effects.
As it would have it, alcohol had its toll on the devout drinkers with intense ramifications; financial, social, marital, health and so on and the illicit brews played their role dutifully causing blindness and death and families suffered the blunt of it. Men rejected their obligations, economic productivity was at an all-time low among the youth, loved ones lost their lives with impotence being the proverbial stroke that broke Carmel’s back as this made women come out in protest against this dreadful drinks that made their men useless in bed drastically reducing births and school enrollment.
This public outcry brought the scourge to light and policy makers saw the course for concern and it reached a point the President intervened. Wanjiku took it upon herself to get rid of the evil drinks by invading retail outlets, pouring any bottled liquid and smashing the bottles to vent out her anger and frustration. Of course, some poured it down their throats and looted to stock up on the precious commodity that was on the verge of extinction and reeled off in the serendipity. The whole charade was largely televised and a stern notice was issued to deter anyone intending to sell the hard liquor. The sale of second generation alcohol was declared an offense which would incur hefty fines, jail time or both. A victory dance was done and voila! We had gotten rid of the social evil.
To me, the celebration was uncalled for as you don’t get rid of a tree bearing bad fruits by plucking the leaves but at times the end justifies the means and it had a great positive impact in reducing alcohol abuse.availability in itself is a major contributing factor towards alcoholism and combating it advanced the fight against illicit liquor by leaps and bounds.
This had its downside as businesses that were regarded as fully registered suffered huge losses and addicts were caught pants down being left stranded without a source of their elixir and as a result a large number were overwhelmed by withdrawal symptoms some so fatal that they succumbed to death. On the brighter side, it served the greater good as it made a bold statement that the society no longer condoned irresponsible drinking hence punching holes in the ideology of drinking being socially accepted unconditionally. It was clear there was a limit to how far this mediocrity could be tolerated. It was a wake-up call to many bringing them to the realization that they had a problem. Those in the early stages of alcoholism were able to quit, some cut back by switching to alcoholic drinks with a lower alcohol content or a different kind of high with khat being a popular option. The rest sought professional help. Central province hit a record high of addicts enrolling to rehabs and counseling sessions in a bid to rebuild their lives in sobriety. The days Government did us proud by stepping in to aid them on their road to recovery.
There was a generally positive change evidenced by a shift of focus among the male youth from full-time indulgence in alcohol to economically productive activities, resumption of studies, restored marriages and relationships. Those who still clung to drinking did it a bit more responsibly and in a controlled manner. The ubiquitous scenes of people staggering in broad daylight and passing out in trenches or on roadsides faded to oblivion.
The manufacturers and distributors took umbrage at the decree and fought for the credibility of their products as some had their licenses revoked. It was settled amicably with the exemption of some brands and pricing was used as the deterrent. With a few high-end brands of potable spirits back on the shelves, a void was left. A market need for safe products to Carter for low-income earners.
After the few months of calm, the second generation liquor has begun creeping back into the market. Most of them are the same old brands that never ceased production and sale though not in central province while others have rebranded and are priced to target the low-income earners. What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve about but the gradual comeback of these liquor brands is bound to trigger the thoughts and urges in drinkers or recovering alcoholics and a euphoric recall is inevitable. Due to the high alcohol content, one easily overdrinks his tolerance, leading to overconsumption, stronger hangovers, fast tracking dependency and addiction and faster health deterioration. We are staggering and crawling back to dark times which ought to exist only in the annals of history. Wines and spirits retail joints are sprouting in regions they had become extinct.
Drinkers are now sneaking in one or two glasses of the presumably harmless hard liquor amid their beer, or using it as a start up before settling down to take the lighter stuff they are now used to so as to spend less and achieve that high faster despite being halfhearted on accepting it solely as the choice drink. Word is spreading amongst drinkers. ” did you know you can now get some brandy or white spirit brand for as little as…let’s say a hundred and a ka-half at sixty or thereabout?”. The scourge is starting all over again. The lethal and detrimental drinks are creeping back and the drinkers are crawling back. The leaves we plucked are growing back, the tree is budding ready to bloom and bear fruit.
Give a helping hand
Our society ought to learn how to live with the monsters it creates or for the better of all mankind curb their creation. All it takes is a good deed or absence of the same. For instance, as you walk down the street sipping on some drink or eating some snack, you pass a child seated on the curb hungry after days without any meal as the trash cans he or she could have ramaged for a nip are ‘owned’ by the bigger, stronger, smarter or swifter urchins. Wide-eyed an arm stretches out and a weak voice soaked in desperation is forced out the dry lips begging for a meal or the least denomination of our beloved shilling. You look away in disdain wanting nothing to do with the poor child. You are not the only one in this category of humans who care less about a child who is in no way your responsibility hence the least of your concerns. You opt to do nothing about it and hope that someone else will. There are countless instances where you have witnessed things going wrong and have chosen to ignore. Corrupt practices, petty theft, abuse, neglect, extortion just to name a few. It seems harmless and if anything it doesn’t affect you directly.
There’s always something you can do such as a word of advice to one taking the wrong path, advocating for proper channels rather than corrupt dealings, offering a helping hand where you can, share it by posting or tweeting about it, contacting the relevant authorities or anything to better the situation Instead of letting it deteriorate. No matter how minute a vice may seem when left unchecked it grows into a monster that comes back to haunt you.
The brother you stigmatized due to his condition was afraid to speak up and seek help now you have to pitch into foot his bill or bail, you have to cough up some extra cash above the normal rate for goods or services that you rightfully deserve, you live in fear as almost everyone around you looks suspicious and with ill motives, the child you ignored grew up not knowing what love, mercy or humanity is, having to fight for every meal embraces violence as a means to survive hence will have no remorse as he mugs you and leaves you injured and helpless by the roadside.