Alcoholism is the most dangerous form of alcohol abuse. It involves the incapability to manage drinking habits. It is also commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder(AUD). It is divided into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. Each category has various symptoms and can cause harmful effects. Let’s read about some facts and figures related to alcoholism in India.
In India, people prefer hard alcohol like Whiskey, Rum, and Vodka over light Alcohol like beer. And the ratio of consumption of hard liquor over light liquor is 80:20. In many western countries where the per capita consumption of alcohol is decreasing, India is witnessing a dramatic increase. In the last 20 years, consumption increases by 72%. Even India has become one of the largest producers of liquor. It even produces 65% of the aggregate output of Liquor in Southeast Asia. When it comes to India, Kerela people are the heaviest drinkers. In Kerela, the average per capita consumption of alcohol is 8 litres, which is almost double of the National per capita consumption of Liquor. If we go through the geographical and economical understanding, we come to know the poor people consume more liquor as compare to rich people and rural poor are more addicted to it than the urban poor.
A person who is alcoholic often faces complication to function normally within the community. Those individuals who engage in this type of behaviour can begin to fall in their ability to meet family, social and work commitments. This gives birth to various social problems and crimes. Due to this substance abuse family often suffer from a financial imbalance. It even makes the economy and business undergo because of lost productivity with people coming to work still suffering from the effect of alcohol. It might surprise you that Alcohol itself is the reason behind 2,50,000 to 3,00,000 deaths every year in India.
Crime and Alcoholism
When it comes to crime, the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug dependence report shows that 15 per cent of robbery cases have a direct connection with liquor consumption. Alcohol can be the only reason behind 37% of Sexual Assault. In 2/3rd cases of partner violence, the victim reports the consumption of alcohol by their partner whereas 1/3rd in the stranger case. 40% of child abuse have a connection with Liquor consumption. Even while committing a crime like murder 40% delinquents consume liquor either before the crime or during committing the crime of murder.
Drink and Drive
As per a report, between 2008 and 2017, nearly 77,000 people died in nearly 2 lakh road accidents arising due to driving under the effect of alcohol.
For the first offence, you might have to face imprisonment for 6 months and/or a fine up to Rs.10,000/-. Earlier for the first offence, the fine was Rs.2000/- and imprisonment for 6 months. For the second time offence, you can face imprisonment of 2 years and/or a fine of Rs.15,000/-. Before this amendment, a fine of Rs.3000/- and imprisonment of 2 years was imposed for the second time offence.
Since the increase in the price of Drink and drive penalty, the number of deaths due to road accidents has decreased which is a good sign but not sufficient.
Government Action on Liquor Consumption
In the recent decade, State governments have taken some steps that might help them to deal with Alcoholism. Out of 5 states/union territory, Gujarat was the first state which banned Liquor consumption in the year 2009. After that Nagaland banned Liquor in the year 2014 and after that Bihar and Mizoram also banned Liquor in the year 2016 and 2019. There is only one Union territory in which alcohol consumption is restricted that is Lakshadweep Island.
In India, there are states like Haryana, Punjab, Meghalaya where the minimum age to consume alcohol is 25, on the other hand, there are some states like Goa, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim where the minimum age to consume alcohol is 18. In some states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra where this age is 21. Do you think that the Central Government need to interfere in it by fixing a minimum age all over the country?
What else can the State and Central Government do to reduce the consumption of Alcohol in India?
Suggest your opinion in the comment section.