New Delhi:  A latest nationwide comprehensive government survey reveals that an estimated 5.7 crore people require treatment for alcohol dependency, 72 lakh for cannabis use and nearly 60 lakh for other sedatives.

The survey was conducted on over 2 lakh households in 186 districts, in addition to a respondent-driven sampling survey carried out on 70,293 people suffering from addiction to various drugs.

The survey was published by The Times of India, where it mentions how the high rate of dependency among people on cannabis raises an alarm and also observes the growing easy availability that it rides on.

Also known as the ‘gateway drug’, cannabis attracts large number of people and its abusers are only increasing day-by-day. Cannabis then paves way for harder drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Use of Cannabis has been associated with memory loss, mood swings, heavy breathing and hysteria.

According to the TOI report, for the first time, data was collected on women users- that show that more men are dependent on alcohol than women. It is reported that men alcohol users out of the sample survey stand at 27.3%, whereas women are at 6.4%.

In a shocking revelation, more than half of the male population in Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Punjab are alcohol users. In numbers, UP has the highest alcohol takers at 4.2 crore users, followed by West Bengal at 1.4 crore and Madhya Pradesh at 1.2 crore.

The Times of India published report also mentions that an estimated 16 crore alcohol consumers are in the age bracket of 10-75 years, out of which 19% are addicted. Besides alcohol and drug dependency, there are an estimated 4.6 lakh children and 18 lakh adults in need of help to shed off their addiction.

The survey is part of the ‘Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India’ report prepared by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS for the ministry of social justice and empowerment.