Yes it is true the people of kerala has consumed 2 Billion Dollars or more of alcohol in 2009. This is a staggering achievement by any means. We should pat ourselves in the back for arriving at such an interesting figure. The official sales by the beverages corporation ( State Supplier? organised Sector ) put the sales at 4500 crores and this does not include the major chunk of supply by the unorganised sector which includes hotels, restaurants, Bar's, the toddy shops, the arrack shops, military quota hehehe and more. if you consider these outlets it could contribute to nothing less than double the sales of the organised sector, for a comfortable analysis lets give them an equal share so the total sales can amount to 9-10,000 crores.
That gives us a figure of 400 $ worth of alcohol consumption i.e. per capita consumption of alcohol at 400$. This you should consider in a state with per capita income less than 300 $. This is really alarming to say the least. In terms of our ranking we stand first in the country in terms of alcohol consumption even beating the party manic Punjabis. We have clearly outdone everyone by far now.
Alcohol consumption has become a necessity for most of the customers like a social addiction that cannot be stalled. There is an anecdote of how a great leader was suggested by his advisory to ban smoking and drinking in his country and after great thought the leader asked him " if you can find me another activity that generates as much revenue for the state, i will immediately oblige to your wish ". SO it has become more of a necessary evil for the state to sustain its developmental activities. For some states like Punjab 1/3 of its revenue is collected from alcohol sales.
It has become a necessity for the youth to consume, to belong to a certain group, peer pressure etc. In certain group it has become difficult to disclose you don't drink rather than the other way around. People have started assuming and taking for granted such habits in us. The social stigma that was associated to drinking earlier in conservative communities like Muslims have started shifting. We have started recognizing the fact that someone cannot be considered alcoholic if he consumes on selective social occasions.
This has become a social epidemic to say the least ( i know some of you will be grinning now hehehe) and something has to be definitely done to contain this or we will end up like Yemen addicted to qat leaves which has lead to an idle population and a looming water crisis. We have to organize community awareness programs and do social advertising campaigns curtailing the enigma attached with alcohol consumption.