Sunday November 17, 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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Study reveals, Frequent Drinking Can Be More Harmful Than Binges

For the study, published in the journal EP Europace, researchers examined the relative importance of frequent drinking versus binge drinking for new-onset atrial fibrillation

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Researchers examined the relative importance of Frequent Drinking versus Binge Drinking for new-onset atrial fibrillation. Pixabay

Alcohol lovers, take a note. Drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently is linked with a higher likelihood of atrial fibrillation than binge drinking, says a new study.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder and raises the risk of stroke by five-fold. Symptoms include palpitations, racing or irregular pulse, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.

“Our study suggests that drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation,” said study author Jong-Il Choi, from Korea University College in South Korea.

For the study, published in the journal EP Europace, researchers examined the relative importance of frequent drinking versus binge drinking for new-onset atrial fibrillation.

The analysis included 9,776,956 individuals without atrial fibrillation who underwent a national health check-up in 2009 which included a questionnaire about alcohol consumption.

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The number of Frequent Drinking sessions is related to atrial fibrillation onset regardless of age and sex. Pixabay

Participants were followed-up until 2017 for the occurrence of atrial fibrillation.

The number of drinking sessions per week was the strongest risk factor for new-onset atrial fibrillation.

Compared with drinking twice per week (reference group), drinking every day was the riskiest, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.412, while drinking once a week was the least risky (HR 0.933).

Binge drinking did not show any clear link with new-onset atrial fibrillation.

“Our study suggests that frequent drinking is more dangerous than infrequent binge drinking with regard to atrial fibrillation,” Choi said.

The number of drinking sessions was related to atrial fibrillation onset regardless of age and sex.

Repeated episodes of atrial fibrillation triggered by alcohol may lead to overt disease, the research notes.

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Drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently is linked with a higher likelihood of atrial fibrillation than binge drinking. Pixabay

In addition, drinking can provoke sleep disturbance which is a known risk factor for atrial fibrillation.

There was a two per cent increase in the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation for each gram of alcohol consumed per week.

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Compared to mild drinkers, those who drank no alcohol, moderate, or high amounts had 8.6 per cent, 7.7 per cent, and 21.5 per cent elevated risks, respectively, the study said. (IANS)