When a person cannot control the alcohol intake and start giving the excuses like "I drink because of work-stress, I stopped at the bar to say hello to my friends; I only had two," etc., it means the person is going through a mental obsession for alcohol. Alcohol denial is the most common problem that refrains people to accept the reality that they are addicted. That is why it is necessary to recognize alcoholism as a chronic, progressive, and even fatal disease. So, on this alcohol awareness month, let's join hands to help our loved ones to combat this silent killer.
Alcohol Awareness Month
In 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence observed April as an Alcohol Awareness Month to increase awareness about the dangers of alcoholism and related comorbidity. Since then, it has become a national movement to help people to cope with drinking problems. Different public health bodies, rehabs, and NGOs worldwide run several campaigns on various platforms to encourage people to talk to their family members about alcohol consumption and treatments.
Alcohol Consumption in India
Below are some essential facts related to alcohol consumption in India:
As per the study done by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in collaboration with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI):
- Indians consume a massive 4.5 crore liters of alcohol contain drinks per month and spend a vast Rs.410 crores on it.
- Average households in India consumed a total of 0.18L of all alcoholic beverages every month-0.22L in rural places and 0.10L in cities.
- The quantity of alcohol consumed is more among higher-income groups in both rural and urban areas.
According to the National Drug Survey 2019 by the Union Ministry of Health:
- 40 % of men and 20 % of women consume alcohol in Delhi.
- 43 % of people in the country consumed more than four drinks on an average -- on a single occasion. The day-time consumption is about 21%.
- 26 % influence of alcohol is there in cases of physical fights and 4 % in road accidents.
- Overall approximately 16 crore people consume alcohol in India.
Alcohol and Comorbidity
Alcohol comes with comorbidity. Excessive alcohol intake can develop some related chronic diseases such as:
- High BP(blood pressure)
- Heart diseases
- Liver disease
- Cancer of mouth, throat, pancreas, liver, colon, and breast
- Weaken immune system
- Anxiety and depression
- Social problems like loss of productivity, family problems, violence, and unemployment
- Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence
Tips to Control Alcohol Consumption
Limiting the consumption of alcohol is the only way to get rid out of it. Here are some quick things people can do:
- Learn to say 'no' if somebody insists on alcohol at the parties
- Self-control is a master key to quit alcohol
- Switch to less concentrated drinks
- Limit the purchase of an alcoholic beverage
- Eat big meals or a good amount of starters to reduce the effect
- Go for a walk or practice yoga or meditation
- Talk to family members and discuss the problem
- Ask doctor or counselor for help
It's better to start now before it's too late. Alcoholic beverages are hazardous to the body and come with comorbidity. In India, medical inflation is rising, and treatment of such diseases has become out of pocket for many. Any medical emergency that arises due to alcohol consumption can derail the finances and lives. Even it is one of the most common health insurance exclusions. One cannot file a claim under health insurance for any disease or injuries due to alcohol consumption. So, why take the risk? With self-determination and control, reduce the intake of alcohol and be the sunshine of your loved ones.