Alcohol is fast becoming the “favorite drug” in our society. At one time it was perceived to be a pass time of the very rich or the very poor – the very rich were seen as being under the influence of western culture in India, while the very poor needed an intoxicant to cope with the hardships of daily life. While this perception based on images from movies and novels may not have been entirely true, the reality with regard to drinking has definitely changed in our society in the past decades.

So what is the pattern of alcohol use now? Teenagers consider it as quite normal to drink at parties, women are encouraged by pubs with special promotional nights, young girls who are financially independent visit the night clubs regularly, middle aged women share a drink with their husbands at parties, professional meetings and seminars always have a talk followed by cocktails and dinner. Drinking is no longer taboo or confined to one group or sex. Consumption of alcohol no longer carries the stigma it once had. People from a wide spectrum including women and youngsters have come to accept alcohol as an integral part of social life. When alcohol is limited to ones social life it does not cause any major problems. But when it becomes part of ones daily life, then it can have serious untoward consequences.
Of those who drink, a great majority would know when to stop and how to limit their usage. They do not let alcohol affect their family, work or social life. But a few who drink cannot exercise any control and they become habitual drinkers. They gradually develop total dependence on alcohol.