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5.7 crore Indians dependent on alcohol: Survey

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A study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has revealed that 5.7 crore Indians are addicted to alcohol and about 8.5 lakh people inject drugs.

A report by Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) under All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi has revealed that 5.7 crore people are estimated to be dependent on alcohol. In other words, every third alcohol user in India needs help for alcohol-related problems.

The study further reveals that 16 crore people in India between the age of 10 to 75 consume alcohol.

The report titled "Magnitude of Substance Use in India" showed that usage of other Psychoactive substances such as cannabis (bhang and ganja/charas), opioids (opium, heroin and pharmaceutical opioids), cocaine, amphetamine type stimulants (ATS), sedatives, inhalants and hallucinogens have also increased.

At the level, a total of 200,111 households were visited in 186 districts and a total of 473,569 individuals were interviewed.

Talking to ANI, Dr. Atul Ambekar, Professor, NDDTC, AIIMS, New Delhi said: "It is for the first time a categorical survey on Psychoactive substances have been conducted in India including all the states and Union Territories."

States with most dependency on alcohol are Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa.

Moreover, Ambekar added that the use of Heroin has also escalated in massive amount with 1.14 per cent of usage against the 0.2 per cent as per the last survey at the level conducted in 2004.

Large portion of people are affected by the addiction in India and they are not receiving any treatment.

The report also revealed that there are about 8.5 Lakh People Who Inject Drugs (PWID). States leading in PWID are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland.

Ambekar asserts, "With categorical division of state-wise survey it would be easier to detect which state consumes which drug and thus, more specific awareness process can be undertaken by the state and central government. It will bring out speedy guidelines as well as implementation."

The massive survey was conducted by NDDTC, 10 Medical Colleges and 15 NGOs. The ground work kicked off in 2017 and ended in 0ctober 2018.

The last National Survey on the extent, pattern and trend of drug abuse was in the year 2000-2001. The report was published in 2004. However, the Survey did not give any State level estimates.

Both the surveys were sponsored and commissioned by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, February 20 2019. 00:42 IST