Alcohol use and abuse has long been a social norm in the east. It is therefore not surprising to have larger number of alcohol related health issues in the east, Trashigang in particular.
According to the hospital records, three people died of the diseases born out of consummate habit of alcohol consumption. Dr. Lhacha Wangdi of the Trashigang General Hospital says, “Eight or nine cases of liver disease get admitted in the hospital in a month and this is an alarming figure”.
In the east people drink mostly the home brewed spirit which is relatively strong than the commercial beer. “Young teenagers who attend school are encouraged by the parents to drink, and this culture of drinking alcohol without knowing its health hazard has taken its toll”, said the doctor.
According to a heath bulletin 2010, 138 people died of alcohol related health issues. Between 2006 and 2010 alcohol liver disease caused 198 deaths across the country and this is not easily acceptable.
A study carried out by the National Statistics Bureau found 22% of the consumers using alcohol beginning at age 18 or before that.
A report published by the national statistical bureau in Statistical Year Book 2010, alcohol related diseases cost Bhutan a sum of Nu 64 million during a period of 2005-2009, which roughly amounts to 13 million a year.
Drinking among the youths and students has been almost a thing of day in Bhutan. Earlier, a study carried out by a professor in Gedu college of Business study showed similar alarming result.
The habit of abusing alcoholic beverages among youths is also exacerbated by the opening of number of bar, beer outlets and traditional alcohol (spirit) sold openly. For example Trashigang, a small town has two alcohol shops, two beer agents, and twenty-five bars.