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CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE

10.05 .Alcohol exports population 15 years of age and over Table 2.9 Africa America Eastern Mediterranean European South-East Asian West Pacific 0.7 99.14.9 16.66 . there are about 2 billion people worldwide who consume alcoholic beverages and 76.07.1 shows per capita consumption of alcohol in various regions of the world.15.9 90.74 0.12 0.4 99.26 0.7 04.4 99.03 0. 28/46 32/35 12/21 49/52 07/11 20/27 Percentage of population covered 76.CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE GLOBAL Per Capita Consumption According to (WHO) estimates.2 00.5 01.53 8.18. Table 2.39 0. WHO-June 2001and 2004. 12 .99 1.04 .64 0.00 0.9 98.1 : Annual per capita consumption of alcohol per adult 15 years of age and over Region Consumption (litres) 03.95 Source : Global Status Report on Alcohol.8 Range Median Countries surveyed/ Total No.85 .08.02 .95 5.34 .3 million with diagnosable alcohol-use disorders. Annual per capita alcohol consumption per adult can be derived by: Alcohol production + Alcohol imports .4 10.72 1.

cognitive. 2003 Harmful Use A Pattern of alcohol use that is causing damage to health.Spectrum of Alcohol Consumption The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) published by the World Health Organization (WHO) uses the term ‘harmful use’ to indicate a pattern of alcohol use similar to alcohol abuse. The extent of alcohol use is related to problems that have a significant impact on public health. should be taken into account. Non-users Figure 2. A general rule. episode of depressive disorder secondary to heavy consumption of alcohol). Report by WHO SEARO . Source: Adapted from Benegal et al (2001) 13 . derived from European and American experience. and sometimes a physical withdrawal state. In assessing the extent of risk. is that 10% of the alcohol drinking population consumes half the total amount of alcohol in that society. The damage may be to health-physical or mental. or they may include social consequences to the drinker or others. The proportions of population in different groups of the drinking spectrum vary considerably in different societies. Source: Adapted from Babor and Higginas Bibble (2001) Dependence Syndrome A cluster of behavioural. the pattern of use. and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated alcohol use and that typically include a strong desire.1 : Spectrum of alcohol use Regular users Social user Dependent users Abusers (Problem users) Harmful users) Source: Get High on Life Without Alcohol. increased tolerance.g. difficulties in controlling its use. a higher priority given to alcohol use than to other activities and obligations. Source: Adapted from WHO (2003b) Hazardous Use Hazardous use is a pattern of alcohol consumption carrying with it risk consequences to the drinker. The damage may be physical (as in case of hepatitis from prolonged use of alcohol) or mental (e. as well as other factors such as family history. persisting in its use despite harmful consequences.

g. Western countries. Ledermann. In populations where consumption is high. South-East Asian countries. the pyramid will be narrow and the proportion of dependent drinkers will be less. In populations where consumption is low. 2003 14 . Report by WHO SEARO. the pyramid will be broad and correspondingly the number of dependent drinkers will be larger. the French demographer.g. e. e. proposed a hypothesis that a rise in the total consumption of alcohol in society will increase disproportionately the number of heavy and dependent drinkers and that a reduction in the total consumption will have the greatest impact on the number of heavy drinkers. Figure 2.2: Levels of alcohol consumption by population LOW Consumption Dependent drinkers Heavy drinkers HIGH Consumption Social drinkers Population base Population base Source: Get High on Life Without Alcohol.CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE Levels of Alcohol Consumption In 1956.

Global consumption by economic standards also indicates that consumption has rapidly risen in the developing regions of the world since 1970. the wide variety of promotional strategies is expected to result in a rise in the production. Operating through different media channels.3 and Figure 2. As a result.Market Trends & Emerging Patterns Many regions of the world have reached a stable and saturated consumption status while a few traditional markets. as opposed to decreasing consumption in the developed regions and transitional economies of eastern and central Europe as Figure 2. WHO. which are increasingly targeting these markets. are showing declining trends of alcohol consumption. distribution and consumption of alcohol in the South-East Asia Region. e. 1999 (based on data from FAO & UNDP) 1994 1996 15 0 0 . Europe.4 indicates. WHO. Figure 2. 1999 (based on data from FAO & UNDP) Source: Global Status Report on Alcohol.g.4: Per capita consumption (age 15+) by Economy Region 1970-96 (in litres of pure alcohol) 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 Total Developed Developing In transition x SEARO 1972 1982 1970 1976 1978 1980 1986 1988 1974 1984 1990 1992 1972 1982 1970 1976 1978 1980 1986 1988 1990 1992 1974 1984 Source: Global Status Report on Alcohol.3: Per capita consumption (age 15+) by WHO Region 1970-96 (in litres of pure alcohol) AFRO 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 AMRO EMRO EURO Figure 2. new potential markets such as Asia have become the focus for industry.

CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE number of ads on network. local and 16 .

2006 World Trade Organization and alcohol Amongst the key elements in international agreements of the World Trade Organization. least heavy drinking occasions. low levels of fiesta drinking and least drinking in public places. high levels of fiesta drinking in public place and 1 being least detrimental pattern. drinking outside meals. Source: WHO.Recent changes in alcohol consumption patterns • • • • • • • Emergence of wine and beer drinking Increase in drinking among women Early experimentation and decreasing age of initiation Shift from urban to rural areas and transitional towns More “binge drinking” Greater acceptability of drinking as an accepted social norm Alcohol use combined with high-risk sexual behaviour The average drinking pattern is a summary measure of the extent of alcohol use in a country or community. the average per capita consumption and pattern of drinking from survey findings. estimated users. important aspects relevant to alcohol control policy include: • Equal treatment to foreign and domestic liquor • Removal of state monopoly on the manufacture.) Source: Gaining Less or Losing More? WHO Alcohol Control Series 2. 2003 17 . The estimate average drinking pattern is in the range of 1 to 4 (4 being the most detrimental pattern based on the number of heavy drinking occasions. distribution and retailing of alcohol • Reduction or elimination of quotas on the quantity of liquor which can be imported These requirements are likely to increase alcohol consumption in traditionally low-use countries. drinking with meal.

55 10 . Table 2.5: Rise in sales in Karnataka in bulk litres 1000 900 800 700 600 500 SALE IML SALE ARRACK SALE BEER LIGHT BEER STRONG BEER ARRACK BEER 400 300 200 100 0 Light Beer IML Strong Beer 1988 1989 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999 Source: Vivek Benegal NIMHANS 18 . Tari.50 40 . Tomb Toddy.55 40 . 2003 Figure 2.3 provide details of the types of alcohol beverages available commonly.CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE INDIAN India is showing a phenomenal increase in alcohol consumption. Sherry.22 4-8 Table 2. etc) Beer Source Fruit juices Cereal grains Molasses/sugarcane Grapes (also other fruits) Cereals Alcohol contents (percentage) 40 . Tadi. Champagne. Sartha.2: Types of alcoholic beverages Beverages Brandy Whisky Rum Wine (Port. Namtanmao. Waark Source: Get high on life without alcohol-Report by WHO SEARO Region. Tharra. with the initiation age on an alarming decrease. Krachae. Chayang.2 and 2. Arrack Oou. Desi Sharab. Cholai. Table 2. Tari Ara Arrack. The recorded market and consumption levels are still very low vis-à-vis the global standard. The illicit market (spurious. seconds and thirds) consumption is far more than legal sales. Toddy. Fenny Palm wine Raksi.3: Types of local brews in the countries of the South-East Asia Region Country Bangladesh Bhutan India Indonesia Nepal Sri Lanka Thailand Local brews Bangla Mad.

it has one of the largest alcohol beverage industries in the world. for example is the third largest spirits producer in the world after Diageo and Pernod Ricard (ICAP.5). 1993). (The Planning Commission of India.07 was approximately 4 million metric tonnes. Table 2. India is the dominant producer of alcohol in the South-East Asia region (65 percent) and contributes to about 7% of the total alcohol beverage imports into the region. DPR Maldives Nepal Sri Lanka Timor-Leste Thailand Source: www.3%) (65% ) (4%) (5%) (0. The UB Group.654 million litres in 1999-2000 and was expected to almost treble to 2300 million litres (estimated) by 2006-07 (Figure 2.org 19 Production 231035679 55981448 6411451 22062 4186853 252756 332400 18600 21600 1577180 (24%) (11%) (0.2 million litres in 1992-93 to 1.faostat. The amount of alcohol produced in India during 2006 .3%) (0.4). More than two thirds of the total beverage alcohol consumption within the region is in India (Table 2.4: Alcohol production and import (metric tonnes) Alcoholic Beverages World Asia South-East Asia Bangladesh Myanmar India Indonesia Korea.4%) 0 (25%) Import 17876448 1445338 105116 3004 10350 6876 3594 7300 2487 820 1029 3810 56579 (8. with the production doubling from 887. There has been a steady increase in the production of alcohol in the country.1%) (7%) (3%) (10%) (7%) (3%) (7%) (2%) (1%) (10%) (4%) (53%) India is one of the largest producers of alcohol in the world and contributes to 65 percent of production and nearly 7 percent of imports into the South Asian region. Yet. 2003).fao.Production of Alcohol in India India is generally regarded as a traditional ‘dry’ or ‘abstaining’ culture (Bennet et al. . 2006c).

and Goa in the west.5: Prevalence of alcohol use Never use Alcohol Prevalence (12 months) Prevalence (30 days) Regular users in last 30 days Problematic / Alcoholics Women (mostly abstainers) 25 .NFHS 3 Source: H.20% 6 .10% 5% > 90% International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International. Madhya Pradesh. IIPS. IIPS. 2007.34% 12 . which accounts for 45 to 50 percent of total consumption.CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE Prevalence of Alcohol Use The prevalence of alcohol use is still low in India as per some studies done around the country (Table 2. Mumbai Prevalence of alcohol use among women . National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre AIIMS. Women tend to drink more in the states of Arunachal Pradesh. After adjusting for undocumented consumption. this is likely to be around 4 litres.5). Mumbai 20 . New Delhi Prevalence of alcohol use among men . Assam and Sikkim in north-east. patterns of alcohol consumption vary widely through the country. 2005-06: India: Volume I. Sharma. Goa and the north-eastern states have a much higher proportion of male alcohol consumers than the rest of the country. Table 2. compared to other states. 2005-06: India: Volume I. International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International. K. Orissa and Andhra Pradesh in central and east India. 2007. Punjab. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3).74% 19 .NFHS 3 Though consumption is still low. Chhattisgarh. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3). Andhra Pradesh. The per capita consumption is 2 litres per adult per year (calculated from official 2003 sales and population figures).

4 to 16. 2004) National Survey Drug Abuse. The prevalence of current use of alcohol ranged from a low of 7 perecent in the western state of Gujarat (officially under Prohibition) to 75 perecent in the North-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. f Official statistics o e consumption ar incomplete as ‘undocumented unts consumption’ acco ent of for almost 50 perc .5 to 12. this figure cannot mirror accurately the wide variation that obtains in a large and complex country such as India.7 (5) Chandigarh 6.7 (3) 16. total consumption pita Estimates of per ca d to consumption nee factor in this lume.4 to 56. 2004 21 .A recent National Household Survey of Drug Use recorded alcohol use in the past year in only 21 perecent of adult males. rural and lower socio-economic urban sections. Prevalence among women has consistently been estimated at less than 5 perecent but is much higher in the northeastern states.4 (5) 12. Significantly higher use has been recorded among tribal. Expectedly.6: Prevalence of alcohol use in adult men in India 34.4 (5) Dibrugarh Delhi Jaipur Lucknow Gwalior Patna Siliguri Guwahati Imphal Ahmedabad Kolkata Nagpur Ranchi Bangalore Chennai Thrissur (Ray et al. undocumented vo Figure 2.7 to 34. There is also an extreme gender difference.

(32 percent Urban and 24 percent Rural). as in other SouthEast Asian countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.5 Trends in Rural and Marginalized Communities Marginalized communities (geographically isolated. It is projected as an ‘escape’ from the deprivation to which they are exposed.7). Bangalore. In these areas.6: Estimated volume of unrecorded consumption of alcohol per capita for 15+ population in the SEAR Country Unrecorded consumption (in litres of pure alcohol) Unrecorded consumption as percentage of total consumption 19 50 52 73 Thailand India Myanmar Sri Lanka Source: Adapted from WHO.7: Family income spent on alcohol 24% 32% Rural Urban Population Source: Dr. especially tribal communities brew alcohol at home leading to diversion of food grains to alcohol production. 2004 22 . economically or socially deprived communities) are often victims of the harmful effects of alcohol. 2004 2. Some marginalized communities. (Table 2. A substantial percentage of family income is spent on alcohol. Sometimes employers pay wages in alcohol rather than in cash (WHO. 2004). minorities. Percentage of family income spent 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Figure 2. which also tend to be poor and marginalized. Table 2. NIMHANS.7 0.6). further aggravating hunger and poverty. tribes. more so in rural households . alcohol is sometimes introduced for quick profits. exploiting the ignorance of the community regarding harm from alcohol use. Vivek Benegal.CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE Unrecorded Consumption and High Expenditure The unrecorded consumption and expenditure on alcohol still remains high in India. (Figure 2.4 0.0 1.

Kerala. 2005 Bikaner.175 liters illicit liquor seized ---------------120 treated. 2005 Rewari. Tamil Nadu. Haryana. 2005 Cuddalore (near Chennai).7 shows the tragedies reported due to use of illicit alcohol. Bareilly. 12 ill 6 deaths 13 deaths. Karnataka. 2005 Hoskote. 2004 Tangra. 2003 Source: Compiled from media reports in daily newspapers 23 Deaths or cases 5 deaths 21 deaths 10 deaths 8 deaths 5 deaths 21 deaths 13 deaths 7 deaths.170. including illicit and spurious liquor. Uttar Pradesh. 2004 Mumbai.7: Media reported illicit alcohol tragedies in India. 30 ill 6 deaths. 2005 Lucknow. marginalized communities are very severely affected by harm from alcohol consumption. Bangalore. Uttar Pradesh. 2004 Koopana. Rajasthan 2005 Menambedu. 92 male ill Remarks ---------------Fake government emblems on the sachets ------------------------------Nearly 36 suspected to have died ---------------Intoxicants worth Rs. 2005 Kolayat. Tamil Nadu. Table 2. Year Villupuram. 46 deaths 14 deaths 3 deaths 9 deaths 99 deaths.000 and 15. West Bengal. 2003 Tiruvallur.Due to low levels of literacy and awareness. Kerala. Rajasthan. Bangalore. 29 lost their vision 33 deaths in the previous month ---------------------------------------------1110 litres illicit liquor seized ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- . Tamil Nadu. Table 2. 2005 Nelamangala. 2004 Unnao.100 hospitalized 35 deaths 7 deaths. 2004 Thrissur. Haryana. 2004 Hissar. Tamil Nadu 2004 Diwosas. Maharashtra. Uttar Pradesh. 2003-05 Place. 2003 Dharwad.

satisfy the criteria for hazardous drinking.) Keeping in mind the large numbers of abstainers. which 'legitimizes' male drunkenness and violence Patterns of alcohol consumption are probably more important than per capita levels of alcohol use in predicting whether people will experience problems with their drinking. The frequency of use varies between men and women.7 litres absolute alcohol equivalent per consumer per year. The signature pattern is one of heavy solitary drinking. The dominant drinking expectancies favour drinking to intoxication and alcohol use is strongly associated with expectations of disinhibition and violence. 24 .87 million litres absolute alcohol equivalent (56.98 litres absolute alcohol per year (1. making them better indices of the likelihood of harm in the population. Surprisingly there appears to be little difference between men and women in the amount of alcohol consumed on typical drinking occasions.67 litres excise paid beverage and 1. At an average five standard drinks are consumed per typical drinking occasion. Figure 2. frequent and heavy consumption is the dominant pattern. amongst men and women. unacceptable and asocial behaviors consequent to alcohol use as well as chronic disabling alcoholism Repeated observations have documented that more than 50 percent of all drinkers in India.11 million consumers in Karnataka state annually consume 100. predominantly spirits. typically more than five standard drinks per occasion.CURRENT PATTERNS & TRENDS OF ALCOHOL USE Patterns of Drinking Though the overall prevalence of drinking is low and the fact that there are strong gender differences in the habit of drinking. 55 percent of women drinkers also drink at the same frequency This can hardly be termed “infrequent” drinking. a more appropriate measure of actual consumption would be 19. especially among men.345 million litres of beverage undocumented) 44% 56% Benegal et al. It is instructive to note that while almost 70 percent of the male drinkers drink daily or almost daily.8: Per capita consumption of alcohol in Karnataka Documented Undocumented 5. ‘Dry’ cultures are known to predispose to deviant. Project report from the India site. Source: WHO Collaborative project on unrecorded consumption of Alcohol (2003).53 million litres excise paid and 44.3 liters undocumented beverage per person per year. 2003 Per capita consumption of 2. with men drinking more frequently than women.

including India.9) and Karnataka show (Figure 2. 25 .5 Source: Drinking Patterns in Kerala.36 23. want to be seen as fun. Traditionally.8) Different states have different legal minimum age limits for alcohol consumption. which make ‘controlled’ societies. their numbers have been lower but persuasive marketing and ‘advancing’ urban lifestyles can make a significant change in this and they make another popular target group. Vivek Benegal. especially teenagers. as studies done in Kerala by Alcohol and Drugs Information Centre (ADIC)India (Figure 2. 2007 Source: Dr. Bangalore 2003. Young people. where alcohol consumption tends to be done without the knowledge of parents and family. Increasingly in India. There is increasing lobbying by the alcohol industry for reduction in the permissible age.7 and 2.Drinking Age and Trends Among Youth The age of initiation to alcohol is going down.5 2002 14 2006 13. Edayaranmula.8: Drinking population (percentage) Age Below 21 21-30 31-40 41-50 Above 51 1990 2 29 38 24 7 1994 6 31 36 22 5 1998 9 33 36 18 4 2002 12 34 34 16 4 2006 14 35 34 14 3 Table 2. ADIC-INDIA. Studies and findings around the world are conclusively underscoring the dangers of early alcohol use resulting in a much higher risk of dependence and abuse. Table 2. like in many Asian countries. NIMHANS.13 19. ADIC-INDIA. the young are being lured towards alcohol use.67 Age of onset 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 24. Maharashtra has permissible age for beer and wine as 21years and 25 years for spirits. Johnson J. but the legal age in India for serving alcohol is seldom checked. hip.31 23. 2007 Trends Among Women The little information that exists about patterns of consumption in India indicate that women consumers can have an equally explosive pattern of alcohol consumption as men.45 Birth Chart – Initiation of regular use 1920 to 30 1930 to 40 1940 to 50 1950 to 60 1960 to 70 1970 to 80 1980 to 90 Source: Drinking Patterns in Kerala. A recent study in Karnataka reported no major difference between the amounts of alcohol drunk by men or women on any typical drinking occasion. even more at risk.35 22. Figure 2. They are impressionable. Alcohol also provides an ‘excuse’ to behave in an uncontrolled manner.9: Alcohol consumption (average age of initiation) Year Age 1986 19 1990 17 1994 15 1998 14. Edayaranmula. cool &‘belonging’ to their peer groups and friend circles.9: Progressive lowering of the age at which consumers start regular drinking 28 27 26 27. are more sensitive to alcohol use because their bodies and brains are still developing. Johnson J. with the lowest being 18 years in Karnataka and Kerala and the highest at 25 years in Delhi.87 21.

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