Alcoholism is Problem
PANJIM, JUNE 7 – Sunita Naik
is in her mid-thirties but life ahead is too grim for her. She has the
responsibility of raising two children. Her husband drowned in alcoholism,
died last year — his body was found in rotten state in the bushes on the
outskirts of the village.
Ramkrishna Bicholkar is
very talented, working as an officer in a central government organisation.
His company demoted him when his absence from work became more frequent
thanks to his drinking habit. He disappears without informing any body.
His wife has been so fed-up with his disappearing act that she has literally
given up on him.
Babli Matkar who drank very
heavily, had made life miserable for his wife and five children. Whenever
he came home drunk, his children rushed to neighbour’s house, to escape
from his abuse and beating. He burnt his own house on two occasions while
under the influence of alcohol. He died recently of liver cirrhosis.
Dr Pinto warns that alcoholism
is certainly on rise in Goa. The cases of alcoholism received at the Institute
of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (IPHB) have also risen in the last five
|These are not isolated cases
of alcohol abuse in Goa but they are everyday happenings in many of the
Alcoholism is a big social
problem and needs to be tackled before more homes are destroyed, warns
a long-time member of the Alcohol Anonymous (AA) in Goa. He suggested that
the State Government should stop issuing licences for new alcohol shops
as easy accessibility is one of the reasons why Goan lads catch up with
drinking habit, early.
This small State with a
population of about 15 lakh has 10,000 plus alcohol shops. According to
traffic police, there is spurt in the cases of drunk driving.
“Many accidents have been
caused because of riding/driving in inebriated state, however, we would
not allow this,” says Arvind Gawas, Superintendent of Police, Traffic.
The department has recently
procured more alco-meters to detect and prevent alcohol related accidents.
Of the total 4630 deaths
reported in Goa Medical College (GMC), Bambolim, during last two years,
423 deaths (9.14 per cent) were related to alcohol related diseases, said
Dr R G W Pinto, Prof & head of the Pathology department..
||“Prior to 2000, cases reported
to us were below 200, but during last five years, there’s been steady increase
in the number of patients. Last year, we admitted 341 chronic cases,” told
Dr B S Cuncolienkar, Medical Superintendent of IPHB.
These patients are in the
age of 18 to 35 who started drinking at a very young age. More than 50
per cent of them go back to the bottle despite the treatment and succumb
to alcohol related diseases by the time they turn 45.
“We give them treatment
but can’t change their social environment which is why they take to drinking
again,” says Dr Cuncolienkar. In these circumstances, support groups can
play a great role. The AA is active in Goa and is doing great service in
helping people to get rid of the habit