The use of drugs has gone up in Kerala, while the consumption of liquor has come down, the Assembly was told on Wednesday.

Excise Minister M.V. Govindan said that this is based on the cases that was registered in the state with regards to drugs.

“There has been an increase in number of cases registered with regards to drugs and there has been an increase in the quantity of drugs that has been confiscated. But during Covid times, the consumption of liquor has come down,” he said.

Quoting figures, he said during 2016-17, 205.41 lakh cases of liquor and 150.13 lakh cases of beer were sold, while in 2020-21, 187.22 lakh cases of liquor and 72.40 lakh cases of beer were sold in the state.

Govindan however pointed out that as far as drug cases being registered, it is based on the quantity of drugs that is being seized and the state has requested the Centre to revise the guidelines.

The profile of liquor users in the state in a study reveals that around 32.9 lakh people, including 3.1 lakh women, out of the 3.34 crore population in the state consume liquor.

Around five lakh people in Kerala consume liquor on a daily basis. Of this, around 83,851 people including 1,043 women are addicted to alcohol, according to state government statistics.

Incidentally for fund-starved Kerala, revenue on liquor and beer is one of the biggest cash sources, and in the last fiscal, it recorded over Rs 15,000 crore revenue from this.

–IANS

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