What is Alcohol?
The availability and social acceptance of alcohol makes it one of the most commonly consumed intoxicating substances on earth.
Alcohol Addiction Threats:
Nearly 15% of individuals who “try” alcohol develop a dependency to it, and become alcoholics. Alcohol poses major and minor threats to a number of bodily functions and organs. (Taken from Alcohol Related Harm in India Fact Sheet)
To the stomach:
- Slows down functioning and interferes with digestion
- Irritates the lining of the food pipe and stomach
- Causes gastritis and ulcer
- Increases incidence of cancer
To the Liver:
- Can lead to fatty liver (sluggishness due to accumulation of fat
- cells)and alcoholic hepatitis (jaundice- like symptoms)
- Permanent damage – cirrhosis
To the Heart:
- Interferes with normal heart rhythm
- Excessive alcohol use can: damage blood vessels, weaken heart muscles, and cause enlargement.
Alcohol Use in India:
On April 29th, 2008 Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss (Hon’ble Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India) said alcohol has become one of the gravest public health issues.
“Alcohol is not just a health problem; it is a social and public health problem. The Government will start consultation with States soon to formulate a full-fledged Alcohol Policy which will look at ways to increase taxation in a way to cut down alcohol use, limit the number of liquor shops, and increase de-addiction sites. Under the 11th Five Year Plan there will be separate allocation for anti-alcohol advocacy”, the Minister said.
Compared to many countries in the world, India has been considered a “dry” culture. However, experts say that India’s reputation as an abstaining culture is unrealistic at this point.[ref]http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)61939-X/fulltext[/ref] Drinking has become more and more popular. In the last fifteen years India’s alcohol consumption has risen 171%. There are an estimated 62.5 million alcohol users in India,[ref]http://www.ias.org.uk/resources/publications/theglobe/globe200103-04/gl200103-04_p27.html[/ref], with 14 million being dependent and needing help. [ref]http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)61939-X/fulltext[/ref]
Alcohol Addiction Signs:
- Experiences anxiety
- Performing poorly at work
- Demonstrates poor judgment and decisions
- Displays abnormalities of skin, eyes, coordination, and/or speech pattern
- Frequently becomes ill
- Memory loss
- Develops legal and/or financial problems
Health Related: Alcohol Addiction
- Trauma, violence, organ system damage, various cancers, unsafe sexual practices, premature death and poor nutritional status of families with heavy drinking fathers are associated with alcohol use.
- Hazardous drinking was significantly associated with severe health problems such as head injuries and hospitalizations. 15 to 20% of traumatic brain injuries were related to alcohol use. Thirty seven percent of injuries in a public hospitalwas due to alcohol.
- Seventeen point six percent of psychiatric emergencies were caused by alcohol.
- Thirty four percent of those who attempted suicide were abusing alcohol.
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