NEW DELHI: Think before your drink. Alcohol is not only costly, but Delhiites also end up paying a heavy ‘price’ often with their lives. Now, a World Health Organization (WHO) report confirms that both men and women in the National Capital are increasingly losing lives to drink driving and alcohol-related diseases.
Worse, the WHO warns that the trend of rising alcohol consumption from January 2017 to April 2018 is dangerous. A national action plan is the need of the hour, it asserts. When it comes to health, alcohol consumption comes with huge liabilities — liver diseases such as cirrhosis which often turn fatal. In fact, the report says liver damage due to alcohol consumption claims 39.5 men per lakh while around 20 in lakh women succumb to alcohol-related diseases of the liver.
“If you see in the report, the per capita consumption of alcohol has risen from 3.8 litres to 4.3 litres. Drinking is no longer a taboo and, hence, the number of cases has gone up,” a leading hepatologist said. But, the ill-effects of alcoholism are not restricted to health alone. Drink driving poses a major problem when men and women push accelerator when out on the road. In fact, the WHO report says 41 per lakh men lost their lives, while around 11 women per lakh were involved in road accidents after consumption of alcohol.
“The numbers show a stark difference as in some sections of society, drinking for women is still considered to be a taboo. Also, there are more number of male drivers on the streets of the capital,” a researcher with the WHO, privy to the report, said.
Moreover, Delhi lived up to its ‘reputation’ of love for hard liquor. According to the report, 93 per cent of the surveyed candidates consumed spirits, while six per cent chose beer as their preferred drink. Wine is the reserve of a few — a mere one per cent of the respondents voted it as their choice of drink.
The WHO report also reveals that around five per cent of men in the capital and 0.6 per cent of women are affected by alcohol-related disorders. 3.8 per cent of men suffer from alcohol dependency, while the same holds true for 0.4 per cent of women.
In terms of heavy drinkers, the report classifies 12.9 per cent of men to be heavy drinkers, while 0.7 per cent of women come in this category.
“The rules in India related to alcohol consumption are more or less stringent. Drinking has become a social phenomenon now and the trends are starting to be dangerous. A concrete action plan is required to control this trend. The government should look into the matter before it goes out of hand,” a WHO official said.