Per capita consumption of liquor in Sri Lanka is five times higher than in Europe. Sri Lanka and Thailand are on the top in South Asia in per capita consumption of liquor.
Some people in Sri Lanka spend Rs.200,000 per month on liquor and Rs.150,000 per month on cigarettes. Annually, Sri Lanka Government is earning Rs 143 billion from tobacco and alcohol tax.
There are six rehabilitation hospitals in Sri Lanka to rehabilitate addicts.We are not doing enough to control consumption of alcohol. Many politicians are involved in the sale of alcohol. This is not a secret.
Our religious leaders should think about this. They must go to the people who have problems and try to help them. Normally, people in trouble do not come to the church or temple. We must have a programme to rehabilitate them.
The media should take a more active part to tackle this problem. The government should not depend on the cigarette and alcohol tax. Our leaders are preaching a lot to solve this problem. But very little action is taken.
Alcohol is used by all politicians to attract crowds to their meetings. This is not a secret. The young generation use alcohol at all their functions and events. There are many elders and people in power to support them. Alcohol or ethyl alcohol is an intoxicating ingredient in beer, wine and liquor.
Alcohol affects every organ in the body. Beer, wine and liquor are harmful to the body. Alcohol abuse is a sign of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships and ability to work. Dependency on alcohol is a symptom of alcohol addiction or alcoholism.
D. Weeratunga Nugegoda