Kerala news: Kerala CM’s decision to provide alcohol on doctor’s prescription faces criticism from IMA

Kerala government’s move to provide alcohol on a doctor’s prescription for countering withdrawal symptoms has been criticised by the state chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

“Scientific treatment should be given 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 such people instead,” ANI quoted IMA as saying.

The body has taken up the matter with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

“Writing a liquor prescription can result in the cancellation of the right to treatment. We have brought it to the notice of Chief Minister,” IMA said.

CM Vijayan had ordered the excise department of the state to provide liquor to those who have a valid prescription from a doctor. The decision was taken after reports of suicide by those who couldn’t deal with withdrawal symptoms due to the unavailability of alcohol as the entire country is under a 21-day lockdown starting March 25.

The chief minister has explored the possibility of online sale of liquor as unavailability of it could lead to social problems, ANI said.

The chief minister has also instructed the excise department to get those with withdrawal symptoms admitted to de-addiction centres and provide them with free treatment.

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