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Hic-town Indians on booze binge

Alcoholism is becoming a major problem in Indian society. Not only are Indians drinking more, they are beginning to drink earlier.

Print Edition: June 1, 2008

Alcoholism is becoming a major problem in Indian society. Not only are Indians drinking more, they are beginning to drink earlier.

 Alcoholics all of us

  • Hazardous drinking is rising among Indians

  • Majority of Indians indulge in "binge drinking"

  • Women binge almost as much as men

  • Solitary drinking on the rise
  • Spirits more popular than beer nd wine
  • Aim of drinking is intoxication
Alcohol Atlas of India, an in-depth report by an NGO, Indian Alcohol Policy Alliance (IAPA), reveals that eight out of 10 male drinkers and six out of 10 female drinkers indulge in “binge drinking”, defined as drinking at least five pegs a session, which doctors say falls into the category of “hazardous drinking”.

Then, a majority of Indians indulge in solitary drinking, and imbibe spirits rather than beer or wine.

Meanwhile, taxes on alcohol have enriched the government by Rs 21,000 crore but this was more than offset by the Rs 24,500 crore that Indians spent on treating ailments resulting from drinking.

“We are now recognising that alcoholism is an issue that affects society and the economy at large,” says Dr Vivek Benegal, Associate Professor at Bangalore’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences.

 

 

Rahul Sachitanand

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