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close this bookAlcoholism: Prevention and Cure by Dr Courtejoie J., MD and Pierre, B (Bureau of Study and Research for the Promotion of Health - Congo - CPS, 1983, 175 p.)
close this folderPart 3: Suggested didactic material
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTalk technique and use of the material
View the documentGroup discussion

Group discussion

The first session begins with a short introduction on the reasons why the group will meet several days. Then the session will be devoted entirely to questions. The educator will first explain the reasons for these questions:

1. We must learn at all times and learn to combine our knowledge

"Nobody in the world can claim to know everything Even the most famous scientists, who invent extraordinary machines, still do not know many things. That is to say there is no end to learning. We must learn at all times and all ages in order to know what we do not know yet. Each of us knows things that maybe another do not know. That is why I am going to ask you some questions today so that we can combine all our knowledge on diseases and the ways to combat them. "

The lecture will begin only in the second session. While the group is freely talking, the educator asks all kind of questions on diseases in general and on alcoholism in particular. The talk should be friendly and informal. The questions aim at three goals:

1. Making the group at ease and winning their trust: the group should immediately consider the educator like a friend rather than a teacher.

2. Making the educator feel at ease. He should try to know his group in order to adjust his teaching. He should find out what the group already knows about alcoholism and its dangers.

3. Stimulating the group's curiosity and desire to learn, because each man is eager to acquire new knowledge. Indeed, the incompleteness and contradictions they discover will very quickly make them realise they lack much knowledge and they will ask to be enlightened without urging.

2. Important remark for the educator

Although the first session consists mainly of an opinion poll, the educator will frequently have to intervene to correct certain misconceptions. He must thus be competent, so as to inspire confidence and respect. Such ability is all the more necessary as educated people may sometimes ask more difficult questions. But he must be careful not to adopt a pedantic tone and give the impression that he has learnt the secrets of a science of which the group remains ignorant. The manner must be friendly; the educator is a discussion leader, not a professor.

3. Questions to ask

The following typical questions are merely examples. The educator may ask other questions. He may also change the order of the questions:

3.1 Typical questions concerning the preparation, distribution and consumption of alcohol.

Where do beer, wine and alcohol come from ?

How are traditional beer, wine, alcohol prepared ? Can a palm tree produce both nuts and wine ?

How many palm trees are there in your village ? How many are used for making wine and how many for their nuts ? in your village, how many people extract the palm wine ? For what uses ?

On which occasions do people drink ? Do the children get some, too ?

Do pregnant women receive some ?

Have you already seen how traditional alcohol is prepared ? How is it made ?

Who drinks it and under which circumstances ?

Do they sell beer or other alcoholic drinks in your neighbourhood ?

Who buys it ? On what occasions ?

How many sales outlets are there in your neighbourhood, in your village ?

How many sales outlets are them in your neighbourhood, in your village ?

How many sales outlets are there near your school ? Do the students patronise them ?

How much does a bottle of beer cost ? A bottle of whisky ? How many days does a male adult need to work in order to buy a bottle of beer ?

How many bottles does the dispensary nurse drink per month ?

How much of his salary does the teacher devote to buying beer ?

3.2 Typical questions about alcohol as social factor

Why do people drink beer ? On what occasions ?

For what reasons ? Is this habit dangerous ? Why ?

After several glasses of beer, is a person still thirsty, still hungry ?

Does beer help you work better in school ? Is beer food ? What about palm wine ?

Does beer diminish the sensation of tiredness ?

Does beer increase a player's strength before a match ? Does beer increase a work's strength and courage ?

When it is very hot, does beer quench one's thirst ? How soon does one feel thirsty again after having had a drink ?

Does drinking alcohol or beer raise one's prestige ?

If you do not offer a glass of beer to a friend visiting you, what will he think ?

What do people in your neighbourhood think of someone who drinks only soda ?

How do you think beer affect sexual performance ? Is your prestige increased if you drink beer regularly ? Do you consider a man who drinks a lot of beer each day a rich man ?

Is it possible for a woman whose husband drinks to have a happy family life ?

Are children of a heavy drinker happy ?

Has a heavy drinker many friends ? Does he keep them long ? Can a heavy drinker have children who study well and succeed at school ?

You are visiting some friends, they offer you a beer, what do you do ? Why ?

In your area, is it impolite to refuse a drink you have been offered, or ask for something else ? What do you think of this ? What do you prefer, a fish or a bottle of beer ? Why ?

3.3. Typical questions relating to alcohol seen as a medicine

Do your neighbours consider alcohol a remedy ?

Against which diseases are your neighbours used to using traditional alcohol ?

Do you neighbours sometimes stop drinking beer for a few days for medical reasons, during a medical treatment. for instance ?

Are there diseases during which people stop drinking beer Which ones ? Why ?

Is alcohol used at the dispensary ? What for ?

Do drinkers live longer then those who do not drink ?

3.4. Typical questions about the repercussions of alcohol on people's abilities

What are the consequences of alcoholism on men ?

Are alcohols dangerous for the rest of the population ?

Do some neighbourhoods or localities have more alcoholics than others ? Why ?

Are babies allowed to drink beer ? What are the dangers ?

Can a pupil both drink beer and pass his examinations ?

Can a pregnant woman drink beer and then give birth to a beautiful baby ?

Can a football player both drink beer and score ?

Can a teacher teach properly if he drinks beer before school ?

Can a nurse leaving a bar give an injection to a patient safely ?

Can a hunter both drink beer and hunt successfully ?

Can a man clear the forest and get the fields ready for planting after drinking palm wine ?

Can an actor play his role correctly if he drinks before the play ?

3.5 Typical questions about accidents

Have you already seen a damaged lorry ?

Was it a new lorry, old one, in good condition ? Why did the accident happen ? Were there fatalities ? Injuries ? Did you know the driver of this lorry ? Was he in the habit of drinking beer before driving ? Did he keep his job ?

Do drivers who drink a lot cause more accidents then those who do not drink ?

In your opinion, what is the proportion of lorry accidents due to alcohol ? One-fourth ? One-third ? Half ? Three-fourths ?

Do you know people in your family, village or neighbourhood who were injured or died in lorry accidents ?

How did these injuries affect the family ?

"If a driver who has been drinking beer has a strong cup of coffee or tea afterwards, he can drive without danger", Do you agree with this ?

Is a hunter who drinks dangerous for the other hunters ? In a group of hunters, is a gun given to someone who has had beer before setting out ?

Do you know any hunting accident stories ? What were they due to?

Is it dangerous to climb a palm tree after drinking palm wine ? Why ?

Do alcoholics fall out of palm trees more frequently then non-drinkers ?

3.6 Typical questions about the causes and the nature of diseases

Where do disease come from ? Which diseases do you know ? How do you recognise them ? Have you already had headaches ? With fever ? Without fever ?

What causes headaches ? is alcohol necessary for your health ? "Palm wine is a natural product, it cannot possibly be harmful to ones health". Do you agree with this ?

Does alcohol cause diseases ? Which ones ?

Can drinking beer every day make the drinker ill ? His children ?

Can an adult drink alcohol without danger ? How much ? How many times a day ? At what time of the day?

What dangers hang over a person who drinks alcohol regularly ?

What dangers hangs over his/her children ?

In your opinion, is whisky more harmful than beer or palm wine ?

Do you have neighbours who have. diseases caused by alcoholic drinks ?

Do you have the impression that an alcoholics young children are not as well fed as the other children in the neighbourhood ?

Do you know diseases which strike heavy drinkers more often than non-drinkers ?

Have you already seen a drinker feel ill after a drinking bout ? Can a man who looks well, strong and does not feel any pain nevertheless have a disease ?

3.7 Questions which are more specifically related to preventing or treating alcoholism

Is it possible to stop drinking ?

Can one be cured of alcoholism ?

Is there any difference between alcoholism and drunkenness ? Can someone who is never drunk become an alcoholic ?

Do you think it is dangerous to continue drinking heavily for several years ?

Do you know people who absolutely cannot do without alcoholic drinks ?

Do you know any traditional taboos concerning alcoholic drinks ?

Do all religions permit the drinking of alcohol ?

Would it be wise to have a law forbidding the consumption of alcohol, or the production of traditional alcohol, or the preparation of palm wine, or the selling of imported alcohol ? Do such laws exist in some countries ?

How can people be informed of the dangers of alcohol ? Do you know authoritative figures (government officials, teachers, nurses, doctors) who set an example by reducing their consumption of beer or alcohol?

How do your neighbours behave towards a chronic alcoholic ? Do your neighbours take medicines to eliminate the effects of alcohol ? Which ones and how much?

Can a cold shower eliminate alcohol's effects on a drunk ? Should drunk drivers who cause an accident have their driving licenses taken away ?

Should the government increase taxes on beer and whisky in order to discourage drinkers ?

4. The use of parables to teach people

The educator should not dwell on exhaustive answers to all the questions, since the following sessions are meant for that. The instructions per se start with the second session. The educator's talk will follow the order of the pictures. The set of pictures is divided unto the following sections:

1. The happy successful family (pictures 2 to 10)

2. The damaging effects of alcohol - alcohol creeps into family life like a thief in the night (pictures 11 to 29)

3. Preventing alcoholism - the means of fighting against alcoholism - how to recover happiness, strength and good health (pictures 30 to 40)

The great religious prophets have always taught people with parables. This method may be very well adapted to use in health education; that is why we have included several tried and true comparisons in the following commentaries.