In this blog post, Charvi Arora, a second year student of University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun deals with the issues of binge drinking in India, which has become a curse among the teens.



The youth of India is facing a major health crisis with binge drinking. Over the last 20 years, the roots of this problem have become deeper than any other cause. In order to address this issue with the teenagers, it is important to consider both the laws of the nation and the health consequences of such drinking.

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Binge drinking refers to the consumption of enough amount of alcohol in a short period which puts the drinker in a great risk. In the country like India, it is unacceptable for the teenagers below the legal age to consume hard alcohol. It is harmful to young people because abusive consumption causes trouble for the public at large.The new idea of drinking to get drunk has become common among the teenagers and therefore the consumption of alcohol is never up to a minimal extent. There is a minimum legal age for drinking alcohol which is different in every state.


  • Alcohol is a subject in the State List under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the laws governing alcohol vary from state to state.[1] The Kerala government is planning to implement almost full prohibition on hard liquor which will take at least10 years approximately. In Bihar, there has been a total ban on drinking alcohol with effect from April, 04, 2016.
  • In states like Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland and the union territory of Lakshadweep Islands, drinking alcohol is strictly forbidden by law. All other Indian states allow alcohol consumption but fix a legal drinking age. In some states, the legal drinking age can be different for different types of alcoholic beverages. In most of the states like Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Odisha etc., it is 21 years whereas in some states of Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, it is as high as 25 years.
  • But drinking is in itself a cause for concern. A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that a rise in drunken driving in the age group of 18-34 is traceable to the growth of binge drinking in that population.[2]The conclusion drawn out of this is that the recent spike in drunken driving, after years of declining fatalities, has become the result of increased binge drinking. It is basically high in the age group of 18-34 years as it is disproportionately common amongst that population.
  • Liquor in India is generally sold at liquor stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, clubs etc. Home delivery of alcoholic beverages is illegal in Delhi. However, delivery of beer by private vendors and departmental stores is permitted and sale of beer at banquet halls and farm houses is legal in Delhi.
  • In spite of legal restrictions, alcohol consumption in India has risen over 55% over a period of 20 years, according to a study done by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


The Origin Of Alcohol Prohibition Laws


  • Alcohol has been in consumption for centuries in India. Colonization boosted alcohol consumption in India to a great extent. The sudden increase in the use of alcohol became a major concern for the authorities. Therefore, a law was formulated in 1878 which controlled the excise revenue and monitored the manufacture, sale or transit of liquor. However, Uniform Excise Act for the entire country was enacted in 1902.
  • Article 47 of the Constitution of India was included in the Directive Principles of the Constitution because prohibition became an important agenda of the Civil Disobedience Moment and several other movements against liquor thus providing an incentive to include this issue into the Prohibition Policy.


Licensing Laws

It is recommended by the World Health Organization that the member nation governments should begin to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages. In Article 47 of the Constitution of India, it is referred that the state shall affirm the rising level of nutrition and standard living of its people. It also mentions the prohibition of the use of intoxicating drinks except for medical purposes and further bans drugs which are injurious to health. Excise department regulates and controls the sale of liquor.

  • Whereas, in the national capital territory of Delhi, the retail supply of alcohol is regulated by Delhi Liquor License Rules, 1976 which prohibits the consumption and service of liquor at public places. The basic purpose of this act is to keep a check on alcohol consumption in India.
  • It has become a major challenge to implement alcohol control policies effectively in India as there is a complete absence of a single National Ministry at the Centre to deal with all aspects of alcohol prevention in the states.
  • Conflicts between the center and the state always arise as alcohol is a state subject.
  • The surveying policy under the control of the states is significantly weak and social ‘binge’ drinking has become an emerging trend in parties.

Consequences Binge Drinking in India

  • For those young individuals who are still in their teens, it interferes with their normal growth if they consume liquor.
  • This type of behavior can particularly interfere with essential mental development that occurs at teenage.
  • Those adolescents who drink at an early age are far more likely to develop alcoholism.
  • There are many teenagers who use alcohol as a stepping stone to harder drugs.

Why is Binge Drinking riskier than ordinary drinking?

Each person’s body has a different capacity of accepting certain amounts of alcohol as a normal human can only process one unit of alcohol per hour. It depends on the body of a person as drinking six units of alcohol in a short span of time can only be digested by some individuals. Therefore, some might accept it or some might face the repercussions.

  • It is riskier because consuming a product which a person’s body can’t accept so quickly turns out to be dangerous for the drinker.
  • The effect of alcohol goes to the brain if consumed without intervals and results in poor vision and low response of the stimulus.
  • Drinking the same amount over many hours as well as eating food will have less effect on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • For the youngsters, getting drunk is usually the main goal of drinking.

What are the effects of binge drinking?


Drinking can frequently affect the physical as well as the mental health of the individual consuming liquor and getting drunk can involve many other health issues such as dizziness, loss of coordination, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of inhibition, and even loss of consciousness. If a person vomits when passed out, the airway can become blocked, and the result can in a person choking in his own vomit and dying.

  • Accidents and falls are common as when a person is drunk and can result into nervous imbalance affecting body co-ordination.
  • Overdosing on alcohol can stop a person from breathing or cause him/her to choke while vomiting.
  • Binge drinking can affect a drinker’s mood and weaken memory in the longer term, leading to serious mental health problems.
  • It can also lead to aggressive or violent behavior.



Binge drinking has severe after effects as mentioned before which can sometimes prove to be fatal or have serious consequences on a persons’ mind.  A binge drinker, even if doesn’t drink regularly but consumes alcohol more than the minimal risk alcohol unit at a single time, he/she can face serious problems. The nearest doctor must be consulted with, who would help the affected person to cut down on the drinking habits. According to renowned cardiologist Dr Purshotam Lal, Chairman of the Metro Group of Hospitals and Heart Institute in New Delhi, “Indians have the tendency of indulging in binge drinking during festivals or family celebrations. They eat a lot too, especially in winters which results in the slow digestion of alcohol”.[3]

Most of the youth indulges in binge drinking before the age of 25 years, which is not allowed in many states. In Maharashtra, many of them are not even aware that one must have a license to consume liquor. Whereas, according to the Punjab Excise Act, 1914[4], women are prohibited from working in any part of the state where intoxicated drugs or liquor is consumed in public.

In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, every seventh day of the month is a dry day where alcohol is not sold in the shops. India has also become one of the largest producers of alcohol in the world. Furthermore, India produces 65% of alcoholic beverages in South-East Asia. Most urban areas have witnessed a huge increase in the number of bars and nightclubs that have opened in the recent years and in almost every state of India. Consuming large amount of alcohol can trigger symptoms of depression as well. So, it is my suggestion to all the teenagers reading this, drink rare, drink less, because someone out there is praying for you to be safe.


[1] “246. Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States”





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