India is considered as one of the largest consumers of alcohol in the world. However, with rising incomes and expanding urbanization, alcohol consumption has seen unprecedented growth over the past few decades. This steep rise poses serious health risks that require urgent attention from the government as well as society.

Socio-Economic Impacts

Excessive India Alcohol use also takes a heavy toll on families and society. In many cases, it leads to domestic violence, child abuse, broken families and strained relationships. Children of parents with drinking problems tend to face higher risks of various issues.

On an economic front, alcohol impairs productivity and work performance. Absenteeism and loss of working hours due to hangovers and sickness impacts industries and businesses. Alcoholism also perpetuates inter-generational poverty as people waste household incomes and savings on liquor instead of their family's welfare.

The most disadvantaged socio-economic groups who can least afford it are often the biggest consumers of hooch and cheaper liquors. Addressing alcoholism is thus critical to alleviate poverty and empower marginalized sections.

Regulatory Challenges

India's efforts to curb harmful drinking have faced challenges due to several regulatory gaps and contradictions. While the central government levies heavy 'sin taxes' on liquor, many state governments are themselves involved in the production and sale of alcoholic beverages. This conflict of interest weakens alcohol control policies.

Other issues include lax enforcement of laws around drinking ages, drunk driving, and advertisement bans. Bootlegging and spurious liquor also thrive due to inadequate surveillance. There are disparities across states with some still practicing prohibition while others have liberalized policies. Lobbies of major liquor companies also undermine public health priorities.

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