By Job Osazuwa
Mr. Ekene Julius, a father of four boys, took ill in December 2016 and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors later instructed his children to advise their father to reduce or altogether stop his alcohol consumption. They disclosed that most of the drugs and injections administered on him failed.
It was gathered that the man had been a heavy alcoholic drinker in the past three decades. So, the doctors emphatically told Julius to take a long holiday from alcohol.
However, Daily Sun was told that soon after the patient was handed the caveat, he surprised everyone when he later he sneaked out from his hospital bed to gulp a bottle of beer. He told the reporter that in the three days he was on admission, he was more or less a dead person without a pinch of alcohol.
The reporter’s observations and conversations with the drunks will leave the readers with many thoughts at the same time, ranging from comic relief to frowning. Some of them though, simply exhibited calmness and ‘observed’ happenings around them, ignoring the reporter’s efforts to stimulate them to open up.
As the saying goes, “don’t beat a drunk because they are innocent” in their state of drunkenness.
Daily Sun learnt that whereas some people could handle excessive alcohol in their system, some simply lose their sensibility with a mere sip. Every individual is said to have their own limit, which they must not be exceeded lest they get drunk.
In Upper Sakpoba area of Benin, Edo State, Uncle Garba, as he is fondly called, is a classical example of one who gets intoxicated with a little sip from the bottle. Uncle Garba, who is very popular in the area with his flowery English, is always drunk. Although he often loses coherence, his good sense of history at some points endears him to people in the neighbourhood even though some jeer at him.
Drunks’ behaviour at different bars and drinking joints could be a very fascinating. Most people are caught up in the web of alcohol. Whether during festive seasons or at party times, alcoholic drinks are consumed by many.
At social events, alcoholic drinks are usually supplied and drunk. Consumers are often seen in their drunken state, lurching and spluttering.
Some chronic drinkers take anything alcoholic, whether cheap or costly as long as it makes them high. Quite a number embrace local concoctions or local gin, with an unimaginable level of alcoholic content.
Shocking testimonies from drunks
Alcohol consumption makes people unconcerned about their actions. It is believed that alcohol suppresses the rational mind. The drinker becomes intoxicated and often irrational.
Chukwudalu Eze, 68, told the reporter that at some point, except he took something alcoholic, he wouldn’t be able to sleep mostly at night time. He said when different drugs failed to make him to sleep, bottles of beer became a reliable alternative.
“All l need is one or two bottles of any type of beer to invite sleep. But if l am too drunk, the reverse becomes the case. It depends on my mood. I drink at different times for different purposes. For more than ten years, l have been practising it and it is working for me. My friends and family members can bear me witness.”
Mr. Victor Aigbovbiosa, who graduated ten years ago from Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, told the reporter that while he was in school, a particular beer brand was like his companion. He said he would take a bottle before going to the examination hall.
“For me, l don’t know about others; when I take a bottle or two, it sharpens my memory. All through my Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) levels, I was taking beer before going to examination hall. I remember vividly too, taking one bottle on the day of my ND project defence. While my colleagues were fidgeting, I spoke so confidently and the panel applauded me. I became the talk of Mass Communication Department when I returned for my HND programme a year later.”
Surprisingly, a lady in her late 20s told the reporter that if she was not drunk, she did not enjoy sex with her boyfriend. She said until she discovered the secrets of alcohol in her life, her sex life was nothing to write home about.
“I am not ashamed to say it because it is working for me, except l am drunk, l don’t enjoy sex. I cannot explain that sensation that comes with,” she confessed.
Funny things drunks do
Mr. Onoriode Wellington, who hails from Isoko town in Delta State, said he couldn’t forget the day he danced on tables at his landlord’s party, which took place in Onitsha, Anambra State.
“It was extremely embarrassing when people started talking about it on our way back home. My neighbours still talk about it till date because I earned a nickname after the drama. They now call me uncle table dancer in our compound in Lagos,” he said.
A lady, who did not want her name mentioned said her most embarrassing moment after having excess of alcohol in club with friends was unknowingly, revealing her nakedness.
According to her: “I went to use the toilet after being drunk at a club in Lagos but the place was dark, perhaps, the bulb there might have blown out. Anyway, I left the door half-opened because of the darkness. In my state of drunkenness, I sat there dozing off, not realising that the door was later wide open.
“I felt some light reflection and a strange breeze and when l managed to look up, I saw some guys looking at me and laughing. I was confused until my lady friends quickly came to close the door. When my friends gave me the full story the next day, I resolved to be drinking in moderation.”
Ighodaro Jude’s problem is that he is fond of insulting anybody that crosses his path while intoxicated.
He said: “People always told me after that I disrespected them. I think l am the kind of drunk that will either get slapped for talking nonsense or get thrown over the shoulder for being a nuisance. To play safe, I always drink with people l am familiar with in case l am in danger.”
Bright Omokpai in his late 20s recalled: “One night I drank a full bottle of champagne. All I needed was to be really drunk and l got what I wanted. My head became so light and later simply went blank. The people around me looked blurred to me. I danced with a particular girl but she appeared differently so many times. At times, she would be very tall, at other time, she would become short. I vomited three times that night.
“I had so many confusing dreams that l couldn’t remember correctly the following morning, except the one that I became president of Ghana.”
One thing that Omokpai can’t forget and that still looked like a mystery to him is how he exactly got home that fateful day. All he could remember was that he wanted to board a taxi but there was none because it was already very late, then he started trekking about 10 killometres to his house. Till this moment, the next thing he could recall was how he woke up the following morning on the floor of his bedroom, with only underwear on.
He said his younger brother told him that he came home that night, smiling intermittently for no reason, and simply went straight to his own room, having urinated and vomited on the corridor.
Stephen Akintola cannot forgive himself for the embarrassment he suffered at his in-laws’ family house.
“On that particular Sallah celebration three years ago, l went to my in-laws’ house at Agege area in Lagos to felicitate with them. My wife’s eldest brother, who is my very good friend, bought drinks, as usual, for everybody. We all had enough to get us drunk. I took extra one bottle of beer above my limit. I wanted to relax for a while on the long chair in the sitting room, but I slept off almost immediately.
“When my wife came to the room, she angrily woke me up and I jumped to my feet. She hissed and asked us to go home, which I obliged. On getting home, she drew my attention to my torn trousers around my lap. She said my underwear was revealed and it was her younger sister, who came to call her to wake me up that my private part was almost out of my boxers. For one year, l couldn’t visit any of my in-laws due to the embarrassment,” he said.
Experts warn heavy drinkers
A Lagos-based medical practitioner, Ogunjobi Michael, described excessive consumption of alcohol as a disaster waiting to happen to the consumer. He warned that the resulting intoxication causes serious and often disturbing behavioural changes and ill health. He added that heavy drinkers faced high risk of mouth, throat and esophagus cancers.
He further warned that a single episode of heavy drinking could cause trouble for the heart, raising the alarm that women who drink are even at higher risk of heart damage.
According to the general practitioner, circulatory system complications that usually arise are poisoning of the heart muscle cells, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
“There are so many dangers for people who abuse alcohol. We have been warning that excessive drinking of alcohol affects the kidney and the liver but drinkers often ignore us. It causes internal heat, inflammation of the belly and many more adverse health implications. It easily paves way to diabetes and results in complications for patients that are already down with the disease.
In most civilised countries if not all, the sales of alcohol is highly regulated. It is only sold to adults, because they know the dangers in consuming it indiscriminately,” he said.