Researchers at Columbia University reveal that the number of male teenagers drinking alcohol in India has increased by more than three times over the last few decades.
Researchers led by Aravind Pillai surveyed around 2,000 randomly-selected men between 20 and 49 years of age in northern Goa and asked them how old they were when they first started drinking, the quantity of alcohol that they drank and whether they had suffered any injuries due to their habit.
The researchers found that around 19.5 percent of men who were born between 1956 and 1960 admitted to drinking when they were teens and the number rose to 74.3 percent among those born between 1981 and 1985. The study has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
"Alcohol consumption and its harmful effects are emerging as a major public health problem in India and the trend is alarming. Teenage drinkers were more than twice as likely to be distressed and alcohol dependent as those who did not start drinking early in life", the researchers said.