Grenadian Youth Motivator, Arthur Pierre, was the keynote speaker at the rally which was held at the Independence Square, Basseterre.
In his address, Pierre outlined the link between harmful drinking and other risky behaviour which impact health and wellbeing.
“Many young people drink alcoholic beverages at parties, bars, and sometimes at home to wind down after a long day of work. Alcohol in moderation can be fun and allow you to relax after a long day or week of work. However alcohol is also considered to be a “downer” type of drug, so you should not drink it if you are depressed. Drinking while you are depressed will usually just make you feel more depressed,” he said, adding that the negative effects of drinking too much alcohol can be divided into short term effects and long term effects.
“The negative short term effects of drinking too much alcohol are loss of judgment, loss of coordination, blurred vision, slurring of speech, and loss of balance. These negative effects can cause you to make bad decisions while you are drunk, and these effects are also the reason that you never want to drive when you have been drinking. If you drink too much alcohol you can experience some extreme negative effects. These include unconsciousness, coma, and even death,” Pierre added.
The Youth Rally was an outreach activity, targeting young men between the ages of 15 and 35. This was due to the fact that a survey compiled in 2009, revealed that 23.5 percent of adult males between 25 to 34 years, drank heavily, consuming five or more drinks per day; and 51 percent drank more than 20 drinks in seven days.
The survey was based on 2006 – 2008 data from the St. Kitts Health Information Unit and other national, regional and international databases. Additionally, a hospital report for 2009 reveals that 13.3 percent of emergency visits were due to motor vehicle accidents and of that total, 56.8 percent of related admissions involved youth under 36 years of age.
“Too Smart to Start – Choose No Booze” was the concluding activity for the Men’s Health Campaign which was sponsored by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) and implemented by the Ministry of Health.