Author(s): Das SK, Balakrishnan V, Vasudevan DM
Alcoholic beverages have been used in human societies since the beginning of recorded history. The patterns of alcohol intake around the world are constantly evolving, and alcohol is ubiquitous today. Research has contributed substantially to our understanding of the relation of drinking to specific disorders, and has shown that the relation between alcohol consumption and health outcomes is complex and multidimensional. Increases in the average volume of drinking are predicted for the most populous regions of the world in Southeast Asia including India. Cultural differences apparently influence the pattern of alcohol consumption. In addition, alcohol is linked to categories of disease whose relative impact on the global burden is predicted to increase. Therefore, it is appropriate to implement policies with targeted harm reduction strategies. The crucial need, from a public health perspective, is for regular means of coordination whereby prevention of alcohol-related problems is taken fully into account in policy decisions about alcohol control and regulation in the market for alcoholic beverages.