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Thread: Is drug use (including alcohol) uncommon in African culture?

  1. #1

    Is drug use (including alcohol) uncommon in African culture?

    I'm a 20yr old guy and parents were born in Kenya. Being in Ireland, it seems that many (though I know not everyone) people from adults to teens have tried a few substances. Even if they are against using it more than once, I find there's an open mindfulness in the West when it comes to drugs that you just don't get back in my country.

    My mother is anti-drug but what's funny is that I honestly don't think she had a chance to "say no", her and my dad were never exposed to cannabis, weed, coke, ecstasy. I don't even think they know what those are, know someone who has done them or even see them. My two cousins the same age as me similarly are haven't lost their drug virginity and still buy into propaganda.

    Why is this? Not to sound rudely ignorant but are people too poor to afford drugs? Can't be demand since mixing young people with little to do would make perfect candidates for drugs. Plenty of those in African countries.

    Even with a legal and available drug like alcohol, the culture is quite different to US or Europe. It seems that it's not common for Africans to drink during gatherings but rather at the pub.

    Anyone offer an explanation for this?

  2. #2
    European & African Drug Discussion
    Shambles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    A Pottering Shed Somewhere in the Scotchland
    Disclaimer: I have never been to any part of Africa and have no known African ancestry until we get into the Great Rift Valley period of human migration. Probably.

    Having said that, I have watched several documentaries exploring drug use of various kinds and many aficionados thereof that clearly exist in large numbers in many (if not quite probably all) countries within the African continent. South Africa in particular is well known for its very specific drug subcultures, and many major smuggling routes into Europe cross several African countries all of which feed user populations along the pathways. There are also the obvious and longterm links between northern African countries and the rest of the world for hashish production especially. And, in related news, a couple of African nations have recently legalised cannabis and more are now looking at it.

    As far as BL goes, we have had a handful of African members (at least ones that we know of) who have painted a vibrant picture of their local drug scene. However, I would agree that there is far less talk of drug use in African nations than you might expect from such a vast geographical area. Maybe it's just a result of there being less coverage of anything that happens outside of Western Europe and the US in so many countries? Maybe your sample size is just not large enough to have caught glimpses of what is out there? In relation to Kenya specifically I recall this VICE piece from a couple years back that may interest you: Kenya's Growing Ketamine Problem.

    Blethering aside, I really don't know the answer to your question but am more than sure plenty peeps use plenty drugs in plenty place across the African continent. Why they don't (and rarely ever did) post here and why the wider world doesn't know much of much one way or t'other is something I also really don't know but would love to given the whole European & African Drug Discussion thing...

    PS: As an aside, and somewhat hilariously, Katie Hopkins "given ketamine" after collapse in South Africa. If only they'd given her a little more...

  3. #3
    Bluelighter blondin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Plenty of weed in various countries in Africa - and kenya has a heroin epidemic growing as its a stop off point form 'stan and can be had for $5 a g. Also betalnut, khat and a few more but i would have to do some research as my memory is shot

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