Dehradun, Haridwar in grip of alcoholism crisis: AIIMS survey
About 50% of the population in Dehradun and Haridwar are alcohol consumers with varying degrees of seriousness, the AIIMS survey said. Further, it said that alcoholism is a rising trend among women.Updated: Jul 27, 2018 16:34 IST
The tourist districts of Dehradun and Haridwar are in the grip of an alcoholism crisis, a study published by AIIMS, Rishikesh, has said.
About 50% of the population in these two Uttarakhand districts are alcohol consumers with varying degrees of seriousness, it said. Further, the report stated that alcoholism is a rising trend among women.
Sub-dean of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Kumar Satish Ravi, conducted the survey over a period of two years, interviewing 400 people, who were divided into four sample groups of urban, rural, rural town and slum areas.
Not only were the study participants interviewed, but also their blood samples were tested to ascertain alcohol levels. Speaking to PTI, Ravi said the highest percentage of alcohol consumers were from the age group of 30-49 years, with 72% males and 28% females struggling with this vice.
Some 38% of married people, 28% of unmarried people and 33% divorcees (including widows) were found to be consumers of alcohol, he said. The tipplers were categorised in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines — current, daily, heavy and heavy episodic drinkers.
Ravi, who also serves as an assistant professor at the anatomy department of the AIIMS, Rishikesh, attributed the alarming trend to lack of employment opportunities, poor awareness on the ill-effects of liquor and available de-addiction and rehabilitation centres.
“The working population of Uttarakhand is predominantly female. Men have little to do to keep themselves busy. To break this monotony, the tendency to binge drink begins, which gradually grows into a habit and finally leads to alcoholism,” Ravi explained.
Lack of education and poor awareness perpetuates this habit as few have faith or knowledge on curable therapies, he said, adding that the social stigma associated with drinking sometimes stops victims from going to rehabilitation centres.
He said the study will cover all 13 districts of Uttarakhand and will soon be taken up in Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pauri and Tehri districts. The focus of the survey will now be shifted to affects of binge drinking on the driving culture.
“The emphasis on driving in the study will help map out the far reaching adverse affects of drinking, especially in view of the growing number of road accidents in Uttarakhand,” he said.
First Published: Jul 27, 2018 16:34 IST