Harms from alcohol consumption by strangers in five Indian states and policy implications

As alcohol use is becoming more prevalent all over India, a team of researchers assessed the tangible and intangible harms from alcohol consumption to others than the alcohol users themselves.

To do so, researchers analysed cross-sectional data from household interviews administered in five Indian states from October 2011 to May 2012. For their paper “Harms from alcohol consumption by strangers in five Indian states and policy implications” researchers analysed data among 7332 adults who responded to all 12 questions on alcohol-related harms from strangers’ alcohol use and for whom data were available on alcohol consumption status and sex. The paper was published in the Drug and Alcohol Review journal.

Result

In five Indian states, both alcohol users and abstainers report being harmed by strangers’ alcohol consumption.

  • 63.2% reported experiences of one or more harms from strangers’ alcohol use in the past year, with 47.4% reporting at least one tangible harm
  • Nearly one-fifth reported being physically harmed from strangers’ alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol use by women did not predict reports of alcohol-related harms from strangers
  • Alcohol use by men was associated with at least 1.9 greater odds of reporting these harms compared with abstainers
  • Living in rural areas was associated with reduced odds of reporting psychological harms from strangers’ alcohol consumption among women but greater odds of reporting physical and sexual harms among men.

Discussion and Conclusions

In five Indian states, both alcohol users and abstainers report being harmed by strangers’ alcohol consumption.

Greater implementation and enhanced enforcement of multilevel interventions may effectively reduce these alcohol-related harms, such as regulating the density of alcohol outlets, screening and brief interventions in health settings and community empowerment initiatives.

Citation

Esser, M. B., Gururaj, G., Rao, G. N., Jayarajan, D., Sethu, L., Murthy, P., Jernigan, D. H., Benegal, V., and COLLABORATORS GROUP ON EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY OF PATTERNS AND CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOL MISUSE IN INDIA (2016) Harms from alcohol consumption by strangers in five Indian states and policy implications. Drug and Alcohol Review, doi: 10.1111/dar.12470.