India, a country of 1.3 billion people, which is almost 16% of the world population, is packed into 2% of the land area of the planet. With such a large population, it is natural that there are a lot of problems. The social problems here are multiplied threefolds when compared to countries like Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and other such countries, but scoring much lower than some developed countries of Europe and North America.
Alcoholism is one such problem, and it has caused a wide range of sufferings for the people dealing with it or for those people who are related to the ones who suffer from alcoholism.
Which states in India have the gravest of this problem?
As per the latest reports published by different studies published by different organizations and their studies, show that the states gravely affected by the monster of alcoholism are Assam, Punjab, and Kerala. Consequently, these states also show a lot of social, mental, and physical health crises related to the ills of alcoholism. Surprisingly, such problems related to alcoholism are also found in high quantities in the supposedly dry states of Gujarat and Bihar, indicating the thrill factor to attain the unattainable to be at work in this case as well. Other than that the highly urbanized states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan showed a high prevalence of such problems. The states with a high tribal population like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh have more prevalence of alcoholism in rural areas than in urban areas, but considering that these states are heavily rural, the alcohol consumption remains very high.
Which steps have been taken by the administration at the local level, state level, and national level to curb this problem?
There’s no doubt that India has achieved a lot after more than 70 years of independence, but the fact remains that there are a lot of things our country is still deficient in. we don’t have the proper infrastructure and resources yet to fully curb the problem of alcoholism and other problems related to it. In many different households, this vicious vice has caused a lot of problems related to financial instability and mental and psychological frustrations. Increased cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse also increases because of rabid alcoholism. One interesting fact is that all the above-mentioned states with the highest cases of crimes against women and children often perpetrated under the influence of alcohol.
Considering this plague, the local administration has put forward various helpline numbers and various NGOs have even brought out rehabilitation programs to help those who are dealing with this problem. There is a national level helpline number that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and help can be sought from anywhere.
How to deal with this problem when alcoholic beverages are a multi-million dollar industry?
It is a vicious trap in this capitalistic world that hugely promotes the idea and lifestyle of addictions to people. It is very easy to get influenced now no matter which age group, religion, or social class you belong to. Despite a strong cultural prohibition against the habit of alcoholism, this habit is seen taking an upward sloppy growth. A study was conducted in the big megacities of Mumbai and Kolkata where the slum dwellers could be seen indulging heavily in alcoholism. Most of these people don’t have a proper source of employment. So it can be said steady and proper job opportunities can help curb this menace called alcoholism.
What can you do to help your friends or family who is dealing with this addiction to alcoholic drinks?
The first and foremost step can be to make them realize how to take this firm decision of quitting alcohol. We have to make them realize the burden this addiction to alcohol levies upon the individual in terms of financial, physical, and mental health aspects. The journey to getting sober is not easy, it is extremely difficult so we have to be with them at all steps to make them realize that they have our support in this pursuit. Also regularly helping them with the visit to the doctor and rehabilitation counsellor should be our noble duty.