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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 147-152
Why do we need to control alcohol use through legislative measures? A south east asia perspective?

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India
2 Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sahoo Saddichha
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.62583

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Background: Even though prevalence of alcohol use in the world is very high, it has not been brought under legal control in several countries, contrary to other controlled substances like opium, cocaine, cannabis, and so on. Aim: To demonstrate the similarities in both alcohol and opioid dependence by comparing and contrasting the course of clinical dependence for both substances. Patients and Methods: Consecutively admitted patients during the period August 2005 to May 2006, in the Center for Addiction Psychiatry, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, India, with ICD-10 (DCR) diagnosis of alcohol dependence syndrome or opioid dependence syndrome were recruited for the study and administered the alcohol or other drug (opioid) section of SSAGA-II, respectively, and the data was entered in the corresponding tally sheet. Results: The total sample size was 150, of which 112 consented to participate. Eighty-one (72%) were alcohol-dependent and 31 (28%) were opioid-dependent. Mean ages of the patients of alcohol dependence for opioid dependence was 35.16 10.2 compared to 26.09 5.65. Mean age of onset of alcohol and opioid use were similar (18.72 6.84 and 20.73 3.93 years, respectively). Patterns of dependence were also similar for both substances, from the first criteria to dependence (0.49 years for alcohol versus 0.64 years for opioids), and from the appearance of the second criteria to dependence (0.24 years versus 0.28 years). Conclusion: This study recommends alcohol to be treated on par with opioids and calls for legislations for the control of alcohol, uniformly, across the world, as a public health policy, on the lines of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.

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