16 crore Indians consume alcohol, 3.2 crore cannabis users; AIIMS survey

16 crore Indians consume alcohol, 3.2 crore cannabis users; AIIMS survey

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 18: A survey conducted by National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), reveals that about 14.6 percent of people - about 16 crore- among 10-75 year old, are current users of alcohol at national level.

The report also said that prevalence is 17 times higher among men than women.

The NDDTC on Monday submitted its survey report, “Magnitude of Substance Use in India” to the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot.

The Union Ministry has conducted a 'national survey on extent and pattern of substance use in India' through the NDDTC of AIIMS, during 2018 which provides data at the national level as well as at the State level.

The Survey was sponsored by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and conducted by a team of NDDTC led by Dr. Atul Ambekar.

Among people consuming alcohol in India, country liquor (‘desi’) about 30 percent and spirits (IMFL – Indian Made Foreign Liquor) about 30 percent are the predominantly consumed beverages.

About 5.2 percent of Indians (more than 5.7 crore people) are estimated to be affected by harmful or dependent alcohol use. In other words, every third alcohol user in India needs help for alcohol related problems.

States with the high prevalence of alcohol use are Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Punjab, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa.

States with high prevalence (more than 10 percent) of alcohol use disorders are Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Arunachal Pradesh.

On Cannabis, about 2.8 percent of Indians (3.1 crore individuals) having used any cannabis product within past 12 months (Bhang – 2 percent or 2.2 crore people; Ganja or Charas – 1.2 percent or 1.3 crore people).

States with the higher than national prevalence of cannabis use are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.

In some states the prevalence of cannabis use disorders is considerably higher (more than thrice) than the national average (e.g. Sikkim, Punjab).

On Opioids, at the national level, the most common opioid used is Heroin, (current use 1.14 percent) followed by Pharmaceutical opioids (current use 0.96 percent) and then Opium (current use 0.52 percent).

Of the total estimated approximately 60 lakh people with opioid use disorders (harmful or dependent pattern) in the country, more than half are contributed by just a few states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

In terms of percentage of population affected, the top states in the country are those in the north east, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Manipur along with Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

About 1.08 percent of 10-75 year old Indians (approximately 1.18 crore people) are current users of sedatives (non-medical, non-prescription use).

States with the highest prevalence of current Sedative use are Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

However, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat are the top five states which house the largest populations of people using sedatives.

Cocaine (0.10 percent) Amphetamine Type Stimulants (0.18 percent) and Hallucinogens (0.12 percent) are the categories with lowest prevalence of current use in India.

A combination of two data collection approaches was employed in this survey are, one is household survey (HHS), which was conducted among the representative, general population (10-75 years old) of all the 36 states and UTs of the country.

This was aimed primarily at studying the use of common, legal substances (like alcohol and cannabis).

At the national level, a total of 2,00,111 households were visited in 186 districts and a total of 4,73,569 individuals were interviewed.

Second, a respondent driven sampling (RDS) survey along with multiplier approach was conducted in 123 districts among 70,293 people suffering from dependence on illicit drugs.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gehlot said that the state governments and all other stake holders including NGOs and drug de-addiction centres will be consulted to formulate guidelines and action plan to counter the menace of drug abuse.

The last national survey on the extent, pattern and trend of drug abuse was sponsored by the Union Ministry and conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in the year 2000-2001.

The report was published in 2004, however, the survey did not give any State level estimates. (UNI)