Last year, in 2014, the World Health Organization or the WHO released its Global Status report on Alcohol and Health. According to the report, about 38.3 percent of the world’s population is reported to consume alcohol regularly. On an average an individual consumption amounts to 6.2 litres of alcohol each year. The report only considers individuals over 15 years of age.
The report says that about 30 percent of India’s population, just less than a third of the country’s populace – consumed alcohol regularly (as of 2010). Some 11 percent are moderate to heavy drinkers. The average Indian consumes about 4.3 litres of alcohol per annum, says the report. The rural average is much higher at about 11.4 liters a year.
Alcohol related deaths and deaths caused by diseases due to alcoholism are a major cause for concern in the country. In 2012 alone about 3.3 million deaths in India were attributed to alcohol consumption. This amounts to some 5.9 percent of the global deaths that year.
Most doctors and health agencies have repeatedly warned Indians of the disastrous health effects of alcohol consumption. Alcoholism is one of the leading causes of liver cirrhosis and failure. About 10 percent of strokes, tuberculosis, hypertension, and epilepsy are caused by excess alcohol consumption.