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Alcohol Abuse in Asian Countries

Alcohol abuse can take a devastating toll on individuals, communities, and even whole countries. While drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and methamphetamine have more of a reputation in Asian countries, alcohol impacts these populations by leading to unintentional injuries, cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases, sexually-transmitted diseases caused by increased risk-taking behavior, and other problems.

A 2011 report from the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) states that alcohol is the third leading factor for risk to health and majorly contributes to deaths and disabilities. The same report also states that alcohol consumption is rising rapidly in Asia.

What Asian Countries Use Alcohol?

Epidemiological research on alcohol focuses on the total volume of alcohol consumed per person and drinking patterns. But these figures do not always offer an accurate representation of alcohol consumption because many local, inexpensive types of alcohol, both legal and illicit, are not calculated into per capita figures.

While countries like India, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka regulate alcohol consumption by various methods, including bans on certain kinds of advertising, most Asian countries do not have a national policy intended to reduce alcohol consumption. Even India has recently become more liberal, and its rates of alcohol consumption have been on the rise, while statistics from Sri Lanka indicate that at least 20 percent of Sri Lankans are current drinkers.

Use is higher among low-income families, in part due to alcohol companies targeting developing countries and low-income populations.

What Are Patterns of Abuse?

Many different factors contribute to the way a country uses alcohol. Availability, regulations, cultural perceptions, biological and socio-economic factors each play a role in the overall influence of alcohol in a certain region.

A large number of people in Asian countries do not drink at all, but those who do, often drink heavily. Bingeing and heavy drinking among young people are prevalent abuse patterns in this region. According to a WHO report, in the Southeast Asian region 22 percent of drinkers reported heavy episodic drinking on a weekly basis.

What Help Is Available?

Providing healthcare and treatment services to individuals struggling with alcohol addiction can help lower the increasing rates of alcohol consumption in Asian countries and its devastating effects. Informing the public about undesirable health effects is another important step. Many treatment programs in Asia are comprehensive and individualized and involve counseling, detoxification, and therapy. A number of them are also affordable and have high success rates.

Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about your treatment options. We are available 24 hours a day to help you find the treatment option that is right for you. Please call today.