Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic Through Religion and Psychology Among the Ameru of Central Igembe Division, Meru North Nistict in Kenya
Mungania, Rev. Mwenda James
Graduate School of Theology Hoseo University
Department of Theology
Alcoholic Understanding Religion Counseling Psychology;
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Alcohol is the most abused substance in the world. The social implications brought on by drinking are enormous. The extent of the mental anguish caused by the use and abuse of alcohol and resulting in ruined lives, loss of income and job productivity, divorce and family disruption, effects on children of alcoholic parents, personal degradation, alcohol related suicides, diseases like the dreadful world killer Aids and liver cirrhosis, and other negative consequences is incalculable. The demarcations between a heavy social drinker, a problem drinker, or an alcoholic are not always clear, but a primary factor in being an alcoholic is addiction to alcohol. Most behavioral and Medical Scientists agree that addiction, alcoholic or otherwise, can be described as Physiological and Physiological dependence, and almost all agree that physical withdrawal symptoms (tremor of hands, tongue, and eyelids; nausea, malaise, anxiety, depressed mood or irritability and so on),are an integral part of such dependence. Withdrawal symptoms not only result from addiction, but also they contribute to the problem of increased addiction in that the alcoholic (addict) compensates for slight withdrawal symptoms by increasing the dosage the next time the drink or drug is consumed. Addiction is thus a situation in which a person is so emotionally and psychologically dependent upon alcohol or some drug that the individual can no longer voluntarily control his craving for it. If one were to summarize the research and various accounts of drinking behavior given by the respondents who were selected for the purpose this thesis writing from the Ameru of Igembe Central Division in Meru North District in Kenya, it would seem that the alcoholic is a person who: 1. Lacks the emotional stamina to refrain from drinking. 2. Has strong mental and physical craving for alcohol. 3. Suffers from severe mental and physical withdrawal symptoms when deprived of alcohol. 4. Shows signs of physical withdrawal and emotional deterioration, and, 5. Can be characterized by a relinquishment of all other interests to a pre-occupation with obtaining and consuming alcohol. The researcher will attempt to throw some light on the above question in the Six Chapters that lie ahead of this research Understanding and counseling Alcoholics among the Ameru of Igembe Central Division, Meru North District in Kenya, through religion and psychology. One of the greatest needs of the Minister of religion is a definition of his role in the problem of alcoholism in and outside the Church he serves. The researcher has endeavored to examine, and analyze the issues pertaining the understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic, bringing to attention of both the church and the world of psychology in this study. He has used Alfred Adler's counseling and psychotherapy as the basis of his arguments and analysis. The methodology used to arrive at the major conclusions in the study are derived from the questionnaires which were used to gather the data information and analysis from respondents who described themselves as alcoholics, and the other hints from hospitals, recorded face to face interviews from some of the respondents, literatures, law courts and police within the same geographical area as the respondents.