Wednesday February 20, 2019

Kerala launches crusade against alcohol, drug abuse

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With an aim to curb and overcome alcohol, drug and other substance abuse, the Kerala government on Sunday initiated a campaign called “Subodham”.

The project was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar here in the presence of religious leaders, representatives of student organisations and NGOs working against drug abuse.

Speaking at launch Oommen Chandy said, “The state government aims to wipe out the menace of substance addiction from our society through ‘Subodham’. If total alcohol prohibition could save the society, the state government is ready to forego the revenue from the sale of liquor that is around Rs.7,000 crore per annum.”

Sri Sri Ravishankar said, “Kerala can become a model-state in anti-alcohol and drug awareness as well as rehabilitation initiatives. This initiative is very much a need of the hour. It will be a great achievement if we can implement the project successfully.”

The “Subodham” project, envisaged by the excise department, will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.

Excise Minister K. Babu, who is also the chairman of “Subodham”, said: “The campaign aims to free one lakh people from drug and alcohol addiction each year.

“‘Subodham’ heralds the first step towards ‘Punarjani 2030 Project’, a state government initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse in Kerala.”, he added.

The state education department, meanwhile, agreed to include anti-drug and alcohol awareness content in the state curriculum from the next academic year.

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Early Onset of Drinking May Lead to Alcohol Dependence, Says Study

To prevent or delay early onset of drinking, more should be known about the modifiable circumstances that enable these behaviours

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In the experiments, rats were trained to drink alcohol in a way that mimics human binge-drinking behaviour. Pixabay

Early onset of drinking and intoxication may lead to heavy drinking and alcohol dependence among people, warn researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in the US.

Researchers concluded this in a study on the correlation between early age (less than 15 years) and contexts of first intoxication such as one’s own home, friends’ homes or outdoor settings, and the problems that arise in these contexts.

For their research, the team studied 405 adolescent (aged 15-18 years) drinkers.

According to the findings, published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, about one-third of adolescent drinkers experienced their first intoxication by the age of 15, about one-third experienced it after 15, and about one-third had consumed alcohol but never to the stage of intoxication.

A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers
Early age drinking linked to alcohol dependence: Study. Pixabay

In addition, drinkers reported drinking most frequently at homes, followed by outdoor settings, and then in restaurants, bars or nightclubs.

The early age of first intoxication was found to be strongly linked to drinking in outdoor settings, but not to drinking at home.

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The results of the study emphasise importance of contexts in early alcohol initiation and the resulting problems to inform development of preventive interventions specific to contexts, said Lipperman-Kreda, a researcher from the varsity.

To prevent or delay early onset of drinking, more should be known about the modifiable circumstances that enable these behaviours, the study suggested. (IANS)