Alcohol abuse causes 10% of disease burden in youth

Increasing trend of alcohol use in young people is now contributing to more than 10% of overall burden of disease and injury among those in the age group of 15-29.

A recent survey of 5,784 students from 58 colleges in Ernakulam district of Kerala showed a significant increase in alcohol use, with 38.3% men and 12.5% women having reported to have used alcohol at least once.

Alcohol abuse causes 10% of disease burden in youth

The findings of the study, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, was jointly conducted by the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Ernakulam, and NIMHANS, Bengaluru.

Lead investigator of the study T.S. Jaisoorya from NIMHANS told The Hindu that the survey provided a significant indicator in terms of how alcohol use among women had more than doubled, compared to earlier studies having reported less than 5% in women.

‘Social acceptance’

The fact that two-thirds of women (67.6%) said their first drink was with their family was an indicator of social acceptance of drinking, said Dr. Jaisoorya.

The survey said that a majority of participants had their initiation with either friends or family. For most men, it was friends (63.8%).

It also showed the lack of awareness in the family about the harm in early use of alcohol, Dr. Jaisoorya said. While the majority of users in college had shown only a low-risk pattern, one in five had a hazardous pattern of alcohol use.

The findings suggested that even low-risk users displayed psychological distress and suicidal thoughts.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:49:30 PM |

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