On April 5, the Nitish Kumar government imposed a total ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol including India Made Foreign Liquor with immediate effect and the world came crashing down for many.
Since the ban, the alcoholics are having an awful time dealing with the sudden change. Here's all what is happening in the state after the ban hit the state hard:
More than 750 patients have already been admitted to hospitals and de-addiction centres
Due to the sudden decision to ban alcohol completely, many alcoholics were brought to hospitals who complained of headache, high palpitation, shivering and breathlessness. A record number of patients are now heading towards de-addiction centres in the state and given the large queues, the government is planning to open more such de-addiction centres, reports CNN-IBN.
Two people have died of withdrawal symptoms after the ban
Two alcohol addicts who had developed withdrawal symptoms after total prohibition reportedly died at Patna Medical College and Hospital and Katihar Medical College and Hospital respectively.
Alcohol addicts are choosing desperate measures to get a buzz
With the alcohol gone, people are relying on a lot of weird stuff to get high, with one man even eating a number of soap bars in the hope of intoxication. Some de-addiction centres reported that people had been found consuming large amounts of paper, chilli and downed painkillers to get high.
Sale of bhang in paan shops has shot up
In absence of alcohol, people are now switching to a new cocktail of sugar cane juice and bhang. Luckily for the them, bhang, though produced from cannabis leaves, is not a listed narcotic drug in Bihar.
The ban has particularly worked well in the favour of paan shopkeepers who sell bhang in tiny sachets and people are flocking to the shops to buy them, reported Times Of India.
Toddy and Neera have become the new favourite drinks
A large number of drinkers are now switching to 'toddy' (fermented palm sap) which has been banned in public places too, but those tapping toddy for self-consumption are exempted from punishment, reports The Hindu.
Fresh palm and plum extracts known as neera, is now being bottled and sold. Neera, though a health drink, when exposed to sun, can get fermented and becomes alcohol.
Liquor seizure and bootlegging is hitting a new high in 'dry' Bihar
14,108 litres of domestic liquor and 2,386 litres of foreign brands were seized from across Bihar on Thursday, reported PTI. Already forty four persons have been arrested in 655 raids under provisions of new Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016.
Addicts are turning to drugs and medicines to get high
Ganja and cough syrups have also emerged to be the most popular among the alternative arrangements easily available to the addicts.
Plans to smuggle marijuana are on the rise
Ever since the ban came in place, the demand for marijuana has also increased and prices have already shot up. The state's Special Task Force (STF) believe that a huge amount of marijuana and heroin have been smuggled into the state from Nepal and Assam to meet the demand.