One in seven Indians is an alcohol user, according to a report released by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, and other findings of which were reported in The Indian Express on February 19.
‘Magnitude of Substance Use in India, 2019’, a report prepared by National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS-New Delhi, cited the prevalence of current alcohol use as 14.6% among the total population in the age group 10-75.
An overwhelming majority of alcohol users are males and fall in the age bracket 18-49 years (74%).
As such, the prevalence was several times higher among men (27.3%) than among women (1.6%). Also, 1.3% of children (ages 10-17) are alcohol users, as opposed to 17.1% in the 18-plus age group.
The report notes that there is considerable heterogeneity in prevalence of alcohol use in the country.
States with high prevalence are Chhattisgarh (35.6%), Tripura (34.7%), Punjab (28.5%) Arunachal Pradesh (28%) and Goa (28%).
More than half the male population of Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Punjab use alcohol. Among women, states with the largest prevalence of alcohol use are Arunachal Pradesh (15.6%) and Chhattisgarh (13.7%).
Among children, a high prevalence was found in Punjab (6%), West Bengal (3.9%) and Maharashtra (3.8%).