An analysis of 2013 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data has revealed that one every 96 minutes or 15 people every day die from the effects of drinking alcohol.
Amongst the states, Maharashtra has the most alcohol-related deaths, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Experts told IANS that high rates of alcoholism correlate with high crime rates. “Major crimes and accidents are fuelled by alcohol, which also leads to sexual harassment of women and robberies,” S. Raju, of Tamil Nadu’s Makkal Adhikaram (People’s Power) said.
Further, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) report, the per capita consumption of alcohol in India increased 38 percent, from 1.6 litres in 2003-05 to 2.2 litres in 2010-12.
India is witnessing furor over alcohol consumption. Recently, Jayalalithaa shut down 500 liquor shops in Tamil Nadu. In April, Bihar imposed blanket ban on alcohol.
Kerala restricted the sale of liquor to five-star hotels from August 2014. However, experts say that prohibition may not reduce addiction and deaths.
“Prohibition of substances which give pleasure to people does not work. Addiction is a health problem, not a moral one, and there are many proven strategies which can reduce its burden. Prohibition is rejected by most public health scientists who know this field; even the World Health Organisation does not recommend it,” wrote Vikram Patel, a leading public health expert with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.