07/04/2016 6:07 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Bihar Liquor Ban: Heavy Drinkers Fall Sick, Find New Fix

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Alcohol forbidden sign

Following the Bihar government’s blanket ban on alcohol this week, habitual drinkers in the state turned a jittery lot for want of their daily dose while some of them even suffered tremors.

Without their regular dose of booze, some failed to recognize even their own family members while a man chose to munch on soap bars in a desperate attempt to get a high, The Times Of India reported.

Doctors in the state are busy attending to patients with heavy withdrawal symptoms.

As of Wednesday, at least 749 such people were brought to the state's 38 new de-addiction centres, the newspaper reported, citing reports received by the State Health Society of Bihar (SHSB).

Four days after banning sale and consumption of country-made and spiced liquor in rural areas from April 1, the Bihar government followed it up with prohibiting India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).

Meanwhile, the liquor ban has turned out to be a boon for paan shopkeepers after alcoholics, denied of their regular quota of booze, started depending on bhang to get a high, according to another news report.

Bhang, sold in tiny sachets in most paan shops across the state, though produced from cannabis leaves, is not a listed narcotic drug in the state.

With alcoholics migrating to a cocktail of sugar cane juice and bhang for their daily fix, the display of Dutch courage by many after downing a few pegs that often leads to bloody brawls, has reportedly gone down.

Bihar liquor ban however excludes army canteens and the BJP was quick to criticize the state government, questioning the basis of allowing sale of liquor there.

"Will not the high and mighty be able to get liquor from Army canteen?... How the government would make prohibition a complete success in such a situation," senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said.

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