The population in India has crossed the 1 billion mark and is rising every day. The latest surveys point towards a growing population of drug users and alcoholics in the country with the number currently pointing towards 3 million. However, there is a significant difficulty in putting an accurate number together due to poor census reporting and red-tapism.
Especially since the Coronavirus pandemic has taken control over our lives, alcoholism and drug usage have suddenly seen a spike. People are drawn towards the bottle for respite from the constant feeling of uncertainty and loss. And with the health system focusing on Covid-19 and putting off everything else for later, a new public health crisis is rising, and that is of untreated and untamed addiction. One could see the proof of this in the sheer number of people flocking wine shops when the government allowed them to function within a stipulated time while easing lockdown constraints.
According to a report by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, more than 14% of Indian alcohol users up to the age of 75 years are daily drinkers. It means at least 1/3rd of Indian men are regular consumers of alcohol. According to the WHO, around 11% of Indians are binge drinking, as compared to the international average, which falls at 16%.
Alcohol consumption and drug use are now at an all-time high, whether is it because of the pandemic or other reasons. It has risen to 38% from 1990, and the average going from 4.3 liters per person per year to 5.9 litres per person per year. These are some alarming numbers that have called for rehabilitation centers to sprout in the country.
While people may regard addiction as a moral failing, addicts need care, treatment, and dignity like any other person going through an illness. There are rehabilitation centres around the globe, in India, that focus on the mental and physical rehabilitation of a patient.
While there is no official number that can confirm the growing rate of rehabilitation centers but with the rise of the numbers of drug and alcohol addicts in India, there is certainly a need and demand for places of treatment for them.
This blog was reviewed by Ms. Shraddha Banerjee (B.sc (Gold Medalist), M.Sc, M.Phil), RCI Licenced Clinical Psychologist at Safe House Premium. She has been writing articles on Mental Illness in Dainik Bhaskar. With expertise in substance-related, neurotic, sexual, and stress-based disorders among young adults, Ms. Banerjee forms an integral part of the support system for individuals healing from addictions of various natures.