From hallucinations to palpitations, withdrawal symptoms hit the tipplers

Frustrated by the sudden closure and closure of liquor stores, a worker in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka recently attempted suicide. He's not the only one. In the past week, and I've witnessed nine suicides from people who were reportedly addicted to alcohol and unable to access the brewery's closure.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its course in India, another silent crisis is brewing. According to a 2019 government survey, there are 16 Crore Indians who drink alcohol. Dr., AIIMS professor at the National Center for Drug Dependence Treatment (NDDTC), said: While the number of Indians who drink is much less than the world average, the amount of alcohol consumed by Indians is very high . Therefore, we have a proportion of heavy drinkers in our country. Of these, he estimates that about 80% could experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, but there would be around 20% who could have a serious condition.

Unfortunately, although there may be an increase in such cases, access to healthcare providers is blocked. Experts say that while addiction treatment or treatment is not a complicated matter, patients may not show up due to blockage or fear of hiring Covid if they go to a medical center. They also point out that alcoholism is an already stigmatized condition and that the authorities or the family look at it with less empathy.

Dr. Roshan Bhad of AIIMS NDDTC department of psychiatry said: It is an unprecedented situation. We have tried to reduce the number of trips patients must take by extending their prescriptions for a month or so. But this is only for people who are already registered with us. We will not take any new cases. None of the medications used to treat addiction are available without a prescription, so visits to a doctor are a must.

An IHBAS psychiatrist in Delhi said some countries internationally had announced weekend vacations to sell liquor so that people could buy genuine liquor instead of risking their lives with adulterated or domestically produced liquor. The risks were visible Monday when one person died and eight others fell seriously ill after consuming industrial alcohol as a substitute for liquor.

In Kerala, help lines have been ringing with some reports that they were hallucinating about liquor bottles. The problem is so serious that Kerala Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan issued a controversial order calling on doctors to issue special passes for drinkers allowing them to buy liquor from state stores.