8.1% of people in Nagaland consume alcohol

Source: Magnitude of Substance Use in India, 2019

Source: Magnitude of Substance Use in India, 2019

Morung Express News 
Dimapur | March 3 

Prohibited Nagaland State has a high proportion of alcohol users in the category of “harmful or dependent alcohol use,” according to a recent study. 

Against the backdrop of the prevailing Nagaland Liquor (Total Prohibition) Act, 1989, alcohol is taking a toll on the health of individuals and economy of the State, the study found out. 

8.1% of the population of Nagaland State – or 3.62 lakh people – currently consume or use alcohol, informed the study. 

According to the ‘Magnitude of Substance Use in India, 2019’ report released by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in February, alcohol is the most common psychoactive substance used in India. About 14.6% of the population or 16 crore people between 10 and 75 years of age consume alcohol in the country. 

In the case of Nagaland, the report noted that although the State comes under the purview of alcohol prohibition as per law, 1.7% of all alcohol users  here fall in the category of “dependent alcohol use” while 20% fall under the category of “harmful” use. In other words, these people are “consuming alcohol in a harmful manner.”  

The overall prevalence of current use of alcohol was however observed to be low.  

It may be noted the study was carried out in four districts of Nagaland- Dimapur, Peren, Tuensang and Phek - with a sample size of 15000 respondents to include both rural and urban population. 

Prevalence of current use of alcohol is higher among males than females in the State. It recorded that 14.5% of males in the State consume alcohol. For every one woman who consumes alcohol, there are 17 alcohol-consuming men. 

The national and state-wise survey was carried out between December 2017 and October 2018. 

Though the prevalence of alcohol use among women is substantially lower than the men, it is notable that alcohol use exists among women in almost all the states of country, the survey said.  

Kripa Foundation, Kohima which was the implementing agency in the State, informed The Morung Express that although in the North East states people using alcohol reported higher preference for home-made rice beer, the study did not include or record local beer usage (even in Nagaland). 

Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and country liquor was the predominant consumed beverage recorded for the State of Nagaland. 

According to the report, more than 5.7 crore individuals in India are affected by harmful or dependent alcohol use and need help for their alcohol use problems. 

In modern times, the pattern and dimensions of use of such psychoactive substances has assumed pathological proportions.

Among people dependent on alcohol who tried quitting, 2.6% of the total alcohol dependent individuals from all over the country reported receiving any treatment.  

Among those who received help/treatment in India, the largest category in ‘source of help’ was ‘spiritual/religious help’ (33%) followed by a ‘government doctor or health facility’ (25%). 

Even in Nagaland State, spiritual/religious help is popularly sought to quit drinking alcohol.