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Alcoholism: A Global Problem which Shadows Mongolia

By B.BYAMBADORJ

Contrary to popular belief among the Mongolian public and media, the Mongolian drinking “problem” in general, is not that serious as it seems. Taken into consideration as a worldwide issue, Mongolia does not even top the list. Searching several global lists on countries with the highest per capita alcohol consumption, Mongolia was not in the top 15. However, we should contribute to resolving this problem.
According to the Oxford Business Group’s 2012 Report on Mongolia, our alcohol consumption compared to other countries per capita is not very high, and shockingly, the report noted “there is room for industry growth.” In several top-ten lists on the world’s highest drinking countries, Mongolia is not even in sight – most probably because of the typical lack of data or the possibility that we do not drink that much “per capita.” It is mostly European and Slavic countries which topped the lists.
Nevertheless, the President’s plea to reduce alcoholism within the term of his presidency and the drunken individuals that we witness some days on the streets definitely says something about Mongolia and its relationship with alcohol abuse. The public perception of alcohol abuse generally comes from alcohol exposure, illustrates how the public is constantly fed information (which, by the way, is not bad) that alcohol abuse is taking its toll. The issue has now become a question of national security, according to the President.
The Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011, unveils many shocking facts about drinking: 4% of the total deaths worldwide each year are alcohol-related, which is more than the deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and violence.
“Approximately 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol-related causes,” WHO noted in their report further adding, “the harmful use of alcohol is especially fatal for younger age groups and alcohol is the world’s leading risk factor for death among males aged 15-59.” Its consumption has been linked to cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, poisonings, road traffic accidents, violence, and several types of cancer, including cancers of the colorectum, breast, larynx and liver, Reuters says.
Canadian scientists conducted alcohol abuse and its effects on society in 2009, with more insights into what alcohol abuse can really do. As Medical News Today reports, the research was conducted by Dr. Jürgen Rehm, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and the University of Toronto, and colleagues and is published as part of a cluster of studies and commentary papers on alcohol and health in the 27 June issue of The Lancet. Rehm also holds posts at the Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany, and the World Health Organization.
In their first paper, Rehm and colleagues review published work on exposure and prevalence of alcohol-use disorders and quantify the extent to which alcohol contributes to deaths and diseases, worldwide and in ten large countries.
Using figures from 2004, the most recent year for which global data is available, they estimate that the net effect of alcohol consumption on health is harmful, accounting for 3.8 per cent of deaths globally (6.3 per cent for men and 1.8 per cent for women), and 4.6 per cent of years lived with disability.
Rehm and colleagues suggest that the level of alcohol-related disease is linked to the amount consumed, the effect being strongest on poor people and those marginalized from society, for every extra unit consumed.
The cost of this burden is equal to more than 1 per cent of gross national product in high income and middle income countries, they wrote, and most of this is not the health care cost but the social harm caused, said the researchers.
“Overall, we conclude that alcohol consumption is one of the major avoidable risk factors, and actions to reduce burden and costs associated with alcohol should be urgently increased,” they wrote.
In the end, alcohol abuse in Mongolia, though may be a bit exaggerated, is still counted towards WHO’s 4 percent of the world population death toll, and as Mongolia is a developing country, the current alcohol abuse level is rising. It’s not just a problem in Mongolia; it is time for us to contribute to solving it worldwide.
“This study is a global wake-up call. And the action needs to start now,” said one of the Canadian scientists in the above research.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=1583

Posted by on Oct 19 2012. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Alcoholism: A Global Problem which Shadows Mongolia”

  1. In addition to the article: Alcohol is a medically-recognized nerve-toxic. That is: Alcohol is a proven way to stupidity.

  2. As long as innocent women and children continue to suffer at the hand of Mongolia’s alcoholics, the problem can never be “exaggerated” or overstated, as the author of this article indicates. To put the word “problem” in quotation marks is shameful. Alcoholism, in Mongolia or any other country, is a problem.

  3. I like the site which is in English. Yess alcohol in Mongolia is also one of the big issues. I think the main solution for this would be limitation on alcohol producers. Also government should involve to such these issues to reduce it. So they should make a limit on the amount of alcohols and alcohol producers. Why don’t we have one alcohol producer and start firing others???

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