As I sat down to look into the topic of underage drinking, I came to a disturbing realization that people have started drinking real young and the trend is alarming.
Alcoholism has plagued mankind for thousand of years. It is a disease, which has destroyed many people and families. It has always been a constant burden on our society. For last many years Alcoholism has been the most widely abused substance in India and throughout the world.
It’s a disease that has detrimental effects on the addict as well as the beings around him. It devastates the person as well as loved ones of the addict. Unlike many western countries, consumption of alcohol in India is witnessing a tremendous rise. Distillers and brewers are keen to become popular in India because India offers the third largest market for them globally. There has also been an explosion in the number of bars in Indian cities in recent years.
Once India had a reputation having a culture that promoted abstinence towards alcohol and other drugs. In India, it was less reported earlier but now things have changed and drinking is alarmingly on the rise among youth and women. Children are equally hitting bottles.
Apart from adults, Underage drinking has become a huge problem in India.The temptation to try out the forbidden is the primary reason behind indulgence of youngsters into drinking.Association of celebration and fun with alcohol, Advertisements of alcoholic beverages that are youth-oriented is another reason.
Insufficient parental check and availability of money is something that is putting more youngsters into drinking of alcohol. Booze sessions are very popular among youngsters nowadays. Though its more among boys now, girls too are taking it in large numbers. Girls sipping beers or downing shots in pubs is a common sight these days.Parents nowadays have higher disposable incomes and are more reluctant to refuse their children anything due to which children are usually having their first drinks much sooner than they are legally allowed to. Teenagers belonging to middle-class families usually get a fixed pocket money from their parents hence this temptation often drives them into cases of loot, robbery.
A study conducted among children in Delhi aged between 20 and 25 has revealed that 89.8 % of boys and 64.6% of girls surveyed have consumed alcohol before they turned 18.
Despite so many legal restrictions on alcohol in various states of India like Bihar, Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland the consumption has risen to 55% in a short period of 20 years.
Binge drinking causes around 5000 deaths of people within 12-20 years of age every year.
Reducing Underage drinking:
Every parent has to be a positive role model else, don’t expect your children to stop drinking until you don’t.
You need to be involved in your teenager’s life. Know what they are doing and where.Encourage their independence but set some limits on timings.Let your teenager know the law and the legal consequences of being caught.
Regular drug testing is something that should be carried out to ensure that he/she is not taking any drug.
Government equally needs to implement strong laws regarding underage drinking. Alcohol education must be provided in every institution to curb the scene effectively.
Because, if the current situation continues for few more years then the day is not far when Indian youth will start drinking at just 15 years and the law certainly won’t be able to stop them.