India witnessed 38% surge in alcohol consumption in seven years —and it isn’t going to slow: Study

India’s alcohol consumption has increased by 38% between 2010 and 2017, said a Lancet study that analysed alcohol intake in 189 countries between 1990 and 2017.

In 2007, the alcohol consumption in India was at 4.3 litres per adult per year which increased to 5.9 litres. This rise is much steeper than what’s seen in other countries.

For the same period, the per adult alcohol consumption in the US rose from 9.3 litres to 9.8 litres. The growth in China too was marginal, as it went up from 7.1 to 7.4 litres per adult, said Economic Times citing the study.

It should also be noted that the average per adult consumption of alcohol in India, is much lower than its in the US.

Up by 70%

Globally too, the popularity of alcohol is increasing. Between the years 1990 and 2017, which is 27 years, global alcohol consumption increased by 70%. The total volume of alcohol intake rose from 20,999 million litres in 1990 to 35,676 million litres in 2017.

Alcohol consumption in high-income countries witnessed constant growth but it has been growing in low and middle-income countries as well. Before 1990, Europe had recorded the highest level of alcohol use. However, the study forecasts that Europe will not hold that title for long.

Going ahead, the world will drink more, and more people will drink as well. The research also suggests that almost half the adults across the world will consume alcohol by 2030 whereas a quarter of them will become binge drinkers.

Binge drinkers are those people who drink 60 grammes or more pure alcohol in one or more sittings, in a month.

Starting Young

Indians are not just drinking more, they are drinking dangerously as well. As many as 57 million people are facing the after-effects of alcohol addiction. A survey by the Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD) revealed that over 88% of youth below 25, consume or purchase alcohol though it’s illegal.

Punjab, Goa, Tripura, Chhattisgarh and Arunachal Pradesh rank high on alcohol consumption. However, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of alcohol drinkers in India.

Regulating alcohol

A few state governments like Bihar, Gujarat, Mizoram and Nagaland, have prohibited the sale of alcohol. States like Kerala, Bihar, Tamil Nadu have imposed variety prohibition since 2016, reported Economic Times. The state government of Rajasthan allows sale of liquor only until 8.30 in the evening.

India has also witnessed an increase in the number of drunken driving cases. According to reports, fines from drunk driving in India in 2018 alone, was at around ₹6 crore.
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