This shocking incident came into limelight in Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh, allegedly consuming the sanitizer in the place of alcohol. Reportedly, seven persons have died on Friday morning, three were dead for the past two days in a Government Hospital. Here they were originally admitted on the complaint of severe stomach ache and vomiting.
“As per the World Health Organization, One fourth to One-third of the male population drinks alcohol in India and neighboring south Asian countries and with the use amongst women in increase.”
The police have informed that they found many sanitizers in the homes of the dead people in which some were finished and others unopened. It is reported that these people collected sanitizers and started consuming it behind temples and other areas secretly as a substitute for alcohol. It is known that major of them belong to the labor families and beggars.
The alcohol addiction was very high in all these dead people, even the family members have confirmed that they were consuming sanitizers in the place of alcohol in the home sometimes.
Andhra Pradesh has the Liquor ban and specifically in the corona – Pandemic time even any local alternatives were also not available for their thirst for addiction. In their region, the lockdown was going on with the rise of Corona cases. With the assumption of sanitizer alcohol base solves theirs craving they started secretly gathering sanitizers and consuming.
Initially, it was believed that they consumed Illegally brewed Liquor, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Ys Jagan Mohan Reddy has also asked for a probe in the details of the incident.
The ten deaths in a short span of three days came as a shocking event in the Andhra Pradesh which already battles with too many cases of the corona in the recent weeks.
With the rampant increase in unemployment in the unorganized sector along with lockdown in certain areas due to surge in cases the work engagement is very low. The misconceptions about the alcohol effect from sanitizers are on the rise because of fake WhatsApp messages being circulated among people.
Free distribution of the sanitizers for the safety of them from the spread of the virus has made the availability of the sanitizers more efficient in every commoner home. Earlier the sanitizers were in the essential goods list making it go low on the price and higher availability.
Awareness of the seriousness of the Virus is still very low in the rural areas, the major reach of the authentic news to the masses is highly difficult in the present world of information. On one side the rapid rise of the corona cases in Andhra Pradesh is creating a Panic condition on a larger sector of people with varied worries on financial accounts.
Prevalence and extent of the problem in India:
Alcohol use is quite common in India both in rural and urban areas with prevalence rates as per various studies varying from 23% to 74% in males in general and although it’s not that common in females it has been found to be prevalent at the rate 24% to 48 % in females in certain sections and communities.
In 2005 the estimated numbers of people using alcohol in India were 62.5 million with 17.4 % of them (10.6 million) having alcohol use disorder.
In India, it has been revealed that 40% of road traffic accidents occur under the influence of alcohol. The majority of such persons are young and are in the productive age group of 20-50 years, making drunken driving a menace for our country.
In a study, it is revealed that 20%–30% of hospital admissions due to alcohol-related problems.
Alcohol Addiction not Considered Serious:
Any addiction on a serious level is a medical condition. The people who have a history of decades of alcohol addiction now suddenly being thrown into the Dry State concept or Lack of awareness in the families on the effects of addiction is creating complicated issues.
The recent Liquor deaths in Punjab and other states are also a clear example of how this alcohol addiction is not taken seriously.
The increase in domestic violence or psychotic atrocity cases is also directly related to this arena evidently.
Alcohol De-Addiction Centers Need of the Hour:
It is practically less possible for the unorganized sector Alcohol Addict to reach a private De-addiction Centre. In this situation, the Public de-addiction centers need to be increased.
Majorly in the states where the liquor ban is prevalent, the chances of a larger consumption of illegal local liquor or substitute drugs are higher. In these zones the requirement of the Deaddiction centers is compulsory.
All India Radio program is conducting a program in Information regarding ill-effects of alcoholism and drug abuse in all the regional languages “Sanwarti Jayen Jeevan Ki Rahen”.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has given a 24 x 7 National Toll-Free Drug De-addiction Helpline Number 1800-11-0031set up to help the victims of drug abuse.