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June 1, 2016
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June 2, 2016

Belize: Too Many Men Giving Up?

Posted: June 2, 2016. 12:20 p.m. CST.

drinking in belize

By Richard Harrison: An epidemic of mammoth proportions is spreading across Belize… who are giving up on life and sitting on the street corners and drains in almost every city, town and village….drinking themselves to death.

While small pockets of alcoholics are nothing new to Belize cities and towns….the past 10 years has seen a rapid escalation of the numbers of men falling through the socio-economic cracks.

No city, town or village is immune to this epidemic….it is now a national challenge with exponential growth.

While in the past it used to be mostly men over their 40’s…..there is now a new wave of young men in their late teens and early 20’s who are suffering from this plight.

Society cannot continue to play blind to this reality….we must ask ourselves why is this trend occurring? What is the root cause? And what does society need to do to slow down, stop and reverse this trend.

Is there not a law that governs the strength and quality of alcoholic products that can be sold for human consumption?

Is there not a law restricting the consumption of alcohol in public spaces?

Are there institutions that provide help for persons who have given up hope? Who have turned to addictive substances (especially alcohol) to cope with their “failed” circumstances?

Is there a point when society has to step in and save people from themselves? Persons who are no longer capable of being responsible for themselves? Or should society just leave them to exercise their freedom to die a long, slow, painful death?

It is obviously more publicly evident that men are suffering from this illness….since they are easily seen on the street corners and drains. BUT….are there also women who are going through this same loss of hope, and suffering in other ways that are not so obvious to the public eye? How is this affecting the children associated with the families from where these persons originate?

Yesterday I met an elderly woman in Belize City….she was hustling, doing errands for anyone near a supermarket, that she might earn tips….she said she was putting together $70 for her grandchild to graduate from pre-school at the YWCA (she had to buy shoes, bow-tie, pants and shirt)….and needed another $50 to complete the $100 it is costing her for the grandchild to register for primary school at Trinity Primary School. I had to wonder what is the mother of the child doing to help? Do we really need expensive graduation from pre-school?

Belizean families are under a lot of pressure…..economic, social, moral and otherwise.

This plague of alcoholism is spreading too rapidly now…..this needs an institutional, systemic and comprehensive approach to better understand the causes of the challenge….and to develop sustainable solution options….so that our society does not continue to crumble before our very eyes.

Let those who have eyes…let them see.

Let those who have hearts….let them reach out to those of our society who have or are losing hope. After all, they are our fathers, brothers, sons and grandchildren…

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of  Breaking Belize News.

This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.

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© 2016, This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.



  1. sharmane garcia says:

    Men are fast becoming endangered species

  2. Chamomo says:

    You are right about the schools brainwashing poor parents into EXPENSIVE graduations. Rags day = $1.00 x so much days per week per year and years !!!
    And that is from preschool to college, and no phones in college unless a dollar per phone is paid= 1000 students = $1000.00 dollars PER DAY !!! GOOD “F” MONEY MAKING IDEAS !!!
    Keep enjoying, Guatemala will fix those problems !!!

  3. Bev Pook says:

    I am totally agree with you Mr. Richard. Drastic measures needed to be taken NOW as this alcohol problem is getting way out of hand.

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Breaking Belize News. Excellent job exposing PARTS of this dreadful disease called alcoholism. However,we too as a society must first stop and evaluate our contributions in this epidemic and what steps can be taken to assist the victims. On a daily basis we are being plagued and blindedly reminded how great and glamorous it is to “have a drink”. Billboards, TV commercials, banners, tents that we sometimes use to bury or dead. By ALL means we will never minimize nor sabatage “free enterprising” but ironically, the commercials that you use to sponsor your media outlet is from a huge distillery. At this juncture let us now include the wine,beer and rum makers as sponsorers for health
    and awareness programs that are needed to assist our society in combating this epidemic.

  5. Corina says:

    Hi loved your article. Just the other day I was telling my boyfriend that a survey should be conducted in our country to see the severity of this problem. The sad part is that a lot of people who do have a drinking problem don’t consider it a problem. For the most part, it seems to have become the norm…and if you don’t drink…then something is wrong with you. Hopefully we realize the damage we are causing our kids and we put an end to this vicious cycle…because the sad part is they look up to us…bad habits and all….and the truth is the first thing they do is try to be like us.

  6. Rey says:

    For anyone interested: there is a rehabilitation center in the village of patchakan, corozal. Its a christian based rehab…Jacob’s Rehabilitation Center.

  7. Kenion Gill says:

    If not all, most programs, institutions and laws are already set in place to address this epidemic. They are just not being enforced and used to the fullest capacity. Eg. There is a law against public drinking, but we see even the authorities are breaking that law.

  8. Orson Picart says:

    This publication is a gross exaggeration. Patrick should be ashamed to even have this published on your site. For one, this article is not substantiated by facts, survey or such measuring sticks. Richard Harrison, you should be ashamed of yourself. Good God man, even a junior reporter could do a better job! Shame, Shame, Shame. Sometime ago i thought to myself, is BBN about the truth of journalism and relaying the particular facts of a story without bias or an agenda? This article just edged me a lil’ closer to “agenda”.

    • Jay Jan says:

      I liked this article. Orson, I guess you didn’t read this portion in the end, “The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.”

      Maybe you’re right; Richard should perhaps support his article with facts, surveys, or other measurable statistics. I would like to see the outcome. Belize would probably not even be able to handle its results.

      By the way Orson, do you work with an alcoholic or beer company? Just asking, cause your ignorance is alarmingly concerning.

      God Bless!!

  9. Abel says:

    Slow day today in the news department? While real crime occurs we dilly dally about the misfortune of some people.

  10. Marleny Alcala says:

    Orson I like your comment, Richard for your information this epidemic as you call it is all over the world so if you want to help probably it would be good to get AA in each district and try to get the persons affected to assist the meetings and not put your country to shame by saying what you said or by showing the specific beer when there are so many beers and rums of different labels.

  11. Diana says:

    Do something constructive,buy them a drink and a sandwich, sit with them try to experience their perspective if ya really care so much.

  12. Via says:

    I doubt it. That disease is no joke. It’s easy to just say they are lazy. Would you say that is they were diabetic or had cancer.

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