According to an RTI response from home ministry, 21.4% Indians consume alcohol while 3% are adicetded to cannabis.
Moreover, Punjab, Maharashtra, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are among the top 10 states where consumption of alcohol and narcotic drugs is higher than the rest of the country.
The fact was revealed by the survey conducted by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC). The National Institute of Social Defence, a wing of MHA quoted the survey in response to an RTI filed by a Delhi resident Ved Pal following recent cases of lives lost due to consumption of illicit alcohol in the country.
The legal drinking age in India and the laws which regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol vary significantly from state to state.
In India, consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the states of Gujarat, Manipur, and Nagaland as well as the union territory of Lakshadweep.
Kerala government has planned to implement almost full prohibition of hard liquor in a phased manner, which will take 10 years starting from third quarter of 2014.
All other Indian states permit alcohol consumption but fix a legal drinking age. In some states, the legal drinking age can be different for different types of alcoholic beverage.
In spite of legal restrictions, alcohol consumption in India has risen over 55% over a period of 20 years (according to OECD figures).