(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Rabat – Despite the existence of multiple anti-alcohol awareness campaigns, alcoholic beverages are the 3rd most widely used drug in Morocco, according to a recent study conducted by the National Observatory of Drugs and Addictions (ONDA).
Morocco's alcohol is on the rise. Between January and May 2017, drank 7 percent more compared to the same period last year.
According to the , imports of alcoholic beverages are following the same upward trend. Set at 4.2 million tons in 2016, by May 2017, they reached 5.1 million tons of 'beer, wine, vermouth and other alcoholic drinks.' These imports amounted to more than MAD 240 million between January and May 2017.
According to the forecasts of Morocco's 2017 Finance Law, alcohol sales in the country would bring the state a little over MAD 1.25 billion of tax revenue this year.
Moroccans Among Africa's Heaviest Drinkers
In 2014, World Health Organization (WHO) said that Moroccans drink an average of 0,9 liters of alcohol per year, slightly higher than average in the eastern Mediterranean region.
According to , Moroccans are more loyal to beer than wine and other alcoholic beverages. Approximately 91 percent of Moroccan men and 97 percent of Moroccan women do not drink alcohol.
In April 2017, Moroccan daily Assabah reported that 2017's first quarter has recorded a 7 percent jump in. Beer occupies first place with a five percent increase, while spirits recorded a two percent growth.
The Office of International Studies and Research on Alcoholic Beverages and Spirits, therefore, specifies that Moroccans consume approximately 120 million liters of alcoholic beverages a year, 68.3 percent of which is beer.
'I prefer alcohol because it makes me happy. I started drinking two years ago, but am not a regular drinker. I drink a few times a month just for fun. I am not addicted,' 20-year old Yassine J. told Morocco World News.
'I don't like weed, it makes me lazy. That is why I prefer alcohol,' he added.
Many people prefer alcohol way more than any other sorts of drugs. However, Medical centers and doctors would never make you choose between abused drugs as they are threat to health no matter what the type you are using is. Long term overconsumption of alcohol can cause pancreatitis and nerve damage.
But some young people do not care much about the consequences that can be caused by the consumption of alcohol and drug misuse, thinking that drinking occasionally would not harm their health. As a matter of fact, drinking can influence human's health anyways. The only difference is that risks might lower depending on how much a person can drink per week.
'Alcohol is an important thing in my life. It saves me, and makes me feel positive about a life that is full of struggles,' 22-years-old Oussama N. told MWN.
The young man added that he drinks two to three times per week. 'Alcohol is not as dangerous as other drug types.'
As for Omar, alcohol is a 'great' thing if you know how to use it and if you are able to control yourself. 'I can stop drinking wine and vodka, but I can never let go on beer. It relaxes me.'
Jihan N. started drinking eight years now. She told MWN that she drinks four times a week to have fun with her friends. 'Part of the reasons why I started drinking are personal problems. Alcohol is a way to escape issues.'
The other most used drugs in Morocco include, cannabis, Kif and heroin. In 2008, Qatari news outlet, Al jazeera made a report on heroin addiction in Northern Morocco 'where all the roads lead to the world of drugs,' according to the report.
Al Jazeera says that the poison seeps into Morocco though the Spanish enclave of . The widespread of heroin among the youth is attributed to its cheap price in the market in comparison to Cocaine and Hashish.