Ever imagined how many people get killed by our “cool party drink” ??

1 person every 10 seconds !!

Can’t believe it??

Read the facts below given in WHO – Global status report on alcohol, 2014

  • Alcohol caused around 33,00,000 deaths in 2012, which is more than the deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined!
  • Alcohol caused 7.6% of all global male deaths and 4.0% of female deaths!
  • We find this surprising because liver cirrhosis is the only mode of death which we generally associate with alcohol. But in reality, liver cirrhosis accounts for just 15% of the alcohol attributable deaths.
  • Distribution of alcohol-attributable deaths, as a percentage of all alcohol-attributable
    deaths by broad disease category, 2012
  • Alcohol caused around 33,00,000 deaths in 2012, which is more than the deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined!
  • Alcohol caused 7.6% of all global male deaths and 4.0% of female deaths!
  • We find this surprising because liver cirrhosis is the only mode of death which we generally associate with alcohol. But in reality, liver cirrhosis accounts for just 15% of the alcohol attributable deaths.

Distribution of alcohol-attributable deaths, as a percentage of all alcohol-attributable deaths by broad disease category, 2012

         Mode of death Proportion of deaths attributable to alcohol
Heart attacks 33.4 %
Unintentional injuries

(Accidents, falls, drownings, hypothermia, choking, animal bites, etc.)

17.1 %
Liver Cirrhosis & pancreatitis 16.2%
Cancers 12.5 %
Intentional injuries

(Murders, suicides)

8.7 %
Infectious diseases (TB, HIV/ AIDS, etc.) (due to decreased immune capacity) 8.0 %
Neuropsychiatric disorders

(Epilepsy, strokes, alcohol use disorders)

4.0 %
Fetal alcohol syndrome 0.1 %

                                                                                        (WHO Global status report on alcohol, 2014)

So while you think of alcohol, keep in mind that Unintentional injuries, heart attacks, strokes & cancers are also common ways in which it kills us.

 

Even in developed countries, alcohol has been consistently found to be the cause of a huge proportion of road traffic accidents…..

Percentage of all road traffic accident fatalities involving alcohol

2001

2004

2007

2008

2009

France

31%

31%

30%

28%

USA

41%

40%

38%

37%

38%

Cananda

30%

31%

32%

34%

32%

                                   ( Source: WHO Global Information System on Alcohol and Health)

Someone will ask, “why to blame the poor alcohol for the accidents/ rapes/ murder which irresponsible people do?” Yes, alcohol is not the sole factor responsible for these crimes. But it is a major contributor in a large proportion of these crimes. It is physiological property of alcohol to impair your eye-motor co-ordination and to impair your judgement – your sense of right & wrong. Being its physiological property, these effects are bound to be seen in anyone who drinks it. Anyone who drives under intoxication is bound to make accidents. In the Delhi gang rape case, intoxicated men got crazy enough to shove a rod up into the vagina. But later when out of intoxication, one of them committed suicide and another accepted before court that for the kind of crime he has done, he deserves to be hanged till death. There are a lot of husbands who assault their wives only on the days that they are drunk and never when they are not drunk! Hence, these crimes are attributable to alcohol.

 

Like tobacco, alcohol also causes a lot of cancer deaths… It has been established in scientific studies that alcohol causes cancers of mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum, liver & breast.

 

As per WHO, around 22% of all suicide deaths and 22% of deaths due to violence are due to alcohol!

The issue of farmers suicide has received a lot of attention recently. But not many are aware that behind a lot of farmer suicides, alcohol addiction is a bigger reason than crop failure. A person who is trapped in this addiction is frequently absent at work, soon loses his professional skills and ultimately loses his job. However, the expenditure over alcohol & the illnesses it brings continue. Soon the family loses all their property & savings and ends up under a debt. This along with the domestic violence which accompanies it, makes life hell for the entire family. Suffocated by the inability to come out of the addiction and ashamed of himself, the person starts finding suicide to be the best solution. Or frustrated by the violence & poverty, the wife takes that route.

 

According to ‘Global burden of Disease, injury and risk factors study, 2010’,

  • Alcohol has now become 3rd leading risk factor for death & disability!
  • In the young age group of 15-49 yrs, it has become the most common risk factor for death & disability!
  • Proportion of alcohol-related DALYs lost (disease burden) rose from 3.5% to 5.5% over the past 20 year period

And yet alcohol continues to be perceived as a harmless party drink even by the well-educated! Paradoxically, centres of higher education are becoming breeding grounds for the spread of substance abuse! Increasingly, the heroines in films are shown to be drinking alcohol. Till now only drinking amongst males was being normalised through marketing strategies. Now as female drinking is also being projected as normal; young girls are also getting tempted to experiment with it in large numbers. One market analyst told us that, the sector of alcohol consumption by women in India is claimed to be growing at a rate of 40-45% every year!

 

Hence it is has become very imperative that we empower ourselves and youngsters around us with above mentioned research evidence.

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