Alcohol consumption among teenagers in the age group of 15-19
years has increased due to absent parents, easy money, and rising
stress and depression, a study says.
The study, by the social development foundation of the Associated
Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), says that
45 percent of intermediate students in metropolitan cities consume
alcohol excessively, at least five to six times a month.
The study surveyed over 2,000 teenagers in cities like Mumbai,
Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Patna, Pune, Delhi, Chandigarh
and Dehradun. It revealed that liquor consumption was most
prevalent in Delhi-National Capital Region and Mumbai followed by
Chandigarh and Hyderabad.
Most of the surveyed adolescents said they took to drinking out of
peer pressure. Others said they resorted to alcohol as they felt
it distracted them from their day-to-day problems.
Over 32 percent of teenagers admitted to drinking when they were
upset, and 18 percent said they drank when alone.
About 15 percent said they drank when they were bored, while 45
percent consumed alcohol to "get high".
According to the survey, youngsters spend Rs.3,500-4,500 on
alcohol every year.
The study says that 70 percent of teens consume alcohol at
birthday parties, farewells and other such occasions.
"More young Indians are resorting to alcohol these days due to the
growing liberated society, easy spending power and wide
availability of brands," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of
Higher alcohol intake has increased risks of high-risk sexual
behaviour, tuberculosis, cancer, liver diseases and duodenal ulcer
Teenagers also run the risk of alcohol dependency, moving on to
more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves
and others, the study reveals.
It says that the consumption can be controlled by introducing
on-the-spot fines for selling alcohol to teenagers.
Parents can prevent their children from using alcohol by
communicating with them frequently and being more attentive to
their children's well-being, it added.