Nairobi News

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When partying gets dangerous


Are you the type that always looks forward to the weekend to drink, smoke and party like there is no tomorrow? If you are, you are putting your life at risk, and especially so if you are a woman.

Waithira Kahaki is a secretary at a local law firm. She began a life of wild partying, drinking — to the point of blacking out — and smoking when she was just 18 years old.

Today, Waithira, 24, can party from Thursday all through to Sunday without batting an eyelid. Her smoking became so bad that her doctor warned her that unless she quit, she would die from asthma.

She knows the health implications of what she does, but finds it extremely difficult to stop. Waithira recalled that she once, with a few friends, contributed money to party for a whole week, non-stop. They would hop from one club to another.

“I would like to leave this kind of life but I believe this is just a stage I am passing through and I am sure I will stop when I settle down in marriage,” she said. Waithira is just one of the many women in the city who crave wild partying, drinking and smoking.

Temporary stage

Their Friday nights and weekends are spent in nightclubs, bars and joints — even in strip clubs — drinking themselves silly.

According to psychologist Philip Odiyo, a life of wild partying, drinking and smoking — common to most city girls — has both physical and psychological effects, and is especially bad when one begins these habits in their teens.

As Odiyo explained, research shows that teens are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those people who start drinking when they are adults.

“Sometimes, women depend on alcohol to feel good and handle life’s stresses. However, alcohol causes increased aggression,impaired coordination, induces amnesia (blackout), depression and possible suicide in some cases. Alcohol also impairs perception, judgment and coordination,” he said.

According to him, the three habits; smoking, drinking and destructive partying, are addictive because they give a euphoric feeling.

“As much as young people might feel the need to be adventurous and experience life, they should remember that their decisions or behaviours can be life changing,” he added.