Alcohol forms a significant component of cultural, social and interpersonal associations in most societies across the world. According to Doherty and Roche (2003), alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world in spite of its well documented adverse effects on health and social order. Medically, research has demonstrated that consuming moderate amounts of the beverage is beneficial to health by reducing incidents of cardiac ailments especially among the elderly (Lindsay, 2008). However alcohol abuse is a major global concern, affecting people in various professional backgrounds.
The adverse effects of excessive alcohol consumption to the user and others are documented in numerous research studies. Excessive alcohol consumption is a major contributing factor of premature death, high morbidity rates and accidents in the population. In addition, it increases of interpersonal violence and aggravates mental illnesses such as depression resulting to high suicidal rates in the contemporary society (Doherty and Roche 2003). In the police force, alcohol consumption does not only cause health problems, but also impacts negatively on the officers’ performance. In a profession that requires high levels of alertness, alcohol use lowers reaction time and reduces mental and physical coordination. A combination of these factors results to reduced productivity in the work place, high levels of absenteeism and increases the risks of work related injuries and accidents(Lindsay, 2008).
Research findings on drinking habits of police officers indicate that they drink higher quantities of alcohol in a given occasion compared to the general population (Amaranto, et al 2003). Several factors are attributed for alcohol abuse in the police.