Alcoholics With Withdrawal Symptoms Must be Given Scientific Treatment, Doctors Have No Legal Obligation to Provide Alcohol Prescription: IMA
Alcohol | Representative Image (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Kochi, March 30: The medical bodies in Kerala came down heavily on the Pinarayi Vijayan government in the state for its decision to provide liquor as per doctor’s prescription to alcoholics who show withdrawal symptoms. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday said that writing a liquor prescription can result in the cancellation of the right to treatment, adding that the Chief Minister has been informed in this regard.

Kerala's decision to make alcohol available, through the Excise Department, for those with alcohol craving based on prescription by a doctor invited flak from the medical community. The IMA and Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association said instead of providing liquor,  the government should give scientific treatment to those who have alcohol withdrawal symptoms. "It can be treated at home or in hospitals with medicines. It is not scientifically acceptable to offer alcohol to them. Doctors have no legal obligation to provide a prescription for alcohol", the IMA said. No Blanket Ban on Alcohol During Lockdown, Kerala to Supply Minimum Liquor to Heavy Alcoholics With Withdrawal Symptoms on Doctor's Prescription.

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With the suicide cases being reported from various parts of the state after liquor sales were stopped in Kerala following coronavirus lockdown, Pinarayi Vijayan had directed the Excise Department to provide liquor to those with a prescription from doctors. The Chief Minister also has asked Excise Department to provide free treatment to and admit people with withdrawal symptoms to de-addiction centers. Vijayan had earlier said that the govt is also considering option of online sale of liquor as the sudden unavailability of alcohol may lead to social problems.

India has been under a 21-day lockdown due to Coronavirus since March 24. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting that social distancing is the only way out for the country in its decisive battle against the coronavirus.