75% youths consume alcohol before turning 21 in India: Survey

Team Udayavani, Sep 27, 2019, 4:11 PM IST

Mumbai: As many as 75 per cent youngsters in India, covered under a multi-city survey, revealed that they consumed alcoholic drinks before turning 21, the legal age for drinking.

The survey was recently conducted by the first year students of St Xavier’s College located in south Mumbai. It was carried out under the guidance of Dr Avkash Jadhav, head of the history department at the college.

The findings of the report were presented to Bhumesh Agarwal, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Superintendent, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), on Thursday.

As many as 1,000 youths in the age group of 16 to 21 years, from cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Rajasthan, were surveyed. It also covered youth from Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and Hungary, a country in Central Europe.

The exercise revealed that 75 per cent youngsters surveyed had tried alcohol before they turned 21, the legal age for drinking, while 47 per cent had tried cigarettes. It also says that 20 per cent had tried drugs, while 30 per cent smoked a hookah.

Almost 88 per cent youth tried some or the other addiction between 16 and 18 years of age, the report said.

Curiosity, peer pressure and easy accessibility to intoxicating substances are some of the prominent factors that drive the youth towards these addictions, it said.

While 17 per cent of the surveyees said that they did take some external help to overcome their addiction, the remaining 83 per cent said that did not know how and from where to get help to get rid of the problem.

Talking about the report, Avkash Jadhav said, “The youth today is facing many vulnerabilities and addiction to various unhealthy habits is one of them. The purpose of this survey was to understand the ground realities and genesis of these unhealthy habits, and to identify the key players who are involved in feeding into these habits.

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