Alcohol Use Disorders (36) Alcohol consumption in Ethiopia

9 February, 2024

Dear all,

Abenezer here. I’m excited about this platform and the so many vibrant discussions. I would like to highlight the burden of alcohol use disorder in my country, Ethiopia.

WHO defines alcohol as a psychoactive substance. This simply means that it is a substance that affects the workings of the brain in terms of mood, feelings, and behavior. It is one of the common substances known to cause chemical dependence. This dependence reaches beyond behavioral changes extending injuries to physical and organ damage, both physiological and chemical effects.

In Ethiopia, the national survey (DHS 2016) showed that the burden is up to forty-six percent in the community. Another study post-covid showed it to be about thirty percent. A systematic review also showed a prevalence similar to this data which was 44.16. This shows that the prevalence of alcohol use in our community is high. From personal experience, I believe this may have to do with the social implications of use especially in the youth. Casual alcohol use is seen as a sign of social status and a sign of success and enjoyment of life. This may be some inclinations that may propel the use of alcohol use.

Look forward to interacting with all of you on this conversation.


1. Ayano G, Yohannis K, Abraha M, Duko B. The epidemiology of alcohol consumption in Ethiopia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 2019 Jun 11;14(1):26.

2. Endashaw Hareru H, Kaso AW, Debela BG, Abebe L, Sisay W/tsadik D, Kassa Abebe R, et al. Alcohol use disorder and its associated factors among residents in Southern Ethiopia during the era of COVID-19. SAGE Open Med. 2022 Jun 20;10:20503121221105031.


Best of regards,

Abenezer Dereje, MD

HIFA profile: Abenezer Dereje is a medical doctor and general practitioner currently doing her MPH at NexGen U in substance use.