New Delhi: A survey has ranked Punjab first in the list of highest alcohol consumption amongst children in India with 1.2 Lakh children in the age group of 10 and 17 years from the state to be consuming alcohol. The research has ranked West Bengal as second, with Maharashtra coming third.

The survey titled ‘Magnitude of Substance use in India’, released by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS, mentioned that the highest number of alcohol consumers in the country amongst children is thrice the national average, Times of India reported.

The lead author of the survey told the newspaper that due to strict regulation in the supply, people have switched over from alcohol to other substance. He noted that the prevailing situation could be avoided by “treating users as patients and not as criminals”.

In another research, researchers had identified a gene that could provide a new target for developing medication to prevent and treat alcoholism, according to a new study on mice. Researchers at Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) in the US discovered a gene that had lower expression in the brains of non-human primates which voluntarily consumed heavy amounts of alcohol compared to those that drank less.

Furthermore, the team unraveled a link between alcohol and how it modulates the levels of activity of this particular gene.

Researchers discovered that when they increased the levels of the gene encoded protein in mice, they reduced alcohol consumption by almost 50 per cent without affecting the total amount of fluid consumed or their overall well-being.