Is alcoholism a way of life in India? The Lancet reports that 14 million Indians are alcohol dependent and more than 50% fall into the category of “hazardous drinking”. The shocking fact is that 1 in 20 drinks alcohol currently, as compared to 1 in 300 two decades back. More and more adults and teens alike, gender no bar, are seeing alcohol as a way to “fit in” with the fast paced, stress-laden lifestyle.

Concomitant with this is the long held belief that alcohol is good for health. It is “prescribed” for heart, cough, cold and for overall health. If you are having a glass a day, or more, you are doing your body a favor. Right?  Well, not really, at least not for Indians. The risks of drinking alcohol far outweigh the benefits. Let’s see how.

Risks outweigh benefits

The benefits of alcohol especially wine, stem from flavonoids and resveratrol. These antioxidants increase HDL and lower LDL cholesterol. But these are not known to be long term effects and more research is still needed to establish the direct heart protective effects of alcohol. Doctors and experts now believe these antioxidants can be better obtained from many fruits and vegetables, including red grapes, and black and green tea.
Risks outweigh benefits

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The known and proven risks of alcoholism include:

  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Increased triglycerides
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Liver and kidney damage

 

Experts believe Indians cannot metabolize even 60 ml of alcohol a week! Add to this, the problems of drunk driving resulting in fatalities, loss in productive hours, increased expenditure on health care, domestic violence and aggression, the verdict is loud and clear.  Any amount of alcohol cannot be recommended to Indians as being “safe.”

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How to work around alcoholism?

  • Remove temptation. Don’t keep alcohol at home.
  • Sip your drink slowly. Take a break of one hour between drinks. Drink soda, water or juice after an alcoholic drink. Eat food when drinking.
  • Take a break from alcohol. Pick a day each week when you won’t drink at all.
  • Learn how to say No. You do not have to drink when others drink.
  • Stay active. Do something to replace drinking. Go out to eat, see a movie or go for a walk.
  • Get support. Ask family and friends for support. Your doctor may be able to help, too. See a qualified therapist who specializes in helping people stop drinking.
  • Engage in a physical activity or daily workout that will keep your mind off the need and want to drink. Seek membership in a fitness center near you and benefit from the group aerobics classes that will motivate you to stay fit and keep you away from the bottle.

How to work around alcoholism?

Most people do not cut down or give up drinking all at once. Just like a diet, it is not easy to change. Sometimes you may relapse. If you do not reach your goal the first time, try again. Get support from people who care about you and keep going! We hope this article helps you in understanding the pros and cons of alcohol consumption. If you like this article then don’t forget to like and share. We’d love to hear from you so go ahead and give us a buzz in the comment section below. We leave the choice to you, choose wisely before you booze!

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