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Problems related to drug abuse in India

Problems related to drug abuse in India

Problems related to drug abuse in India

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has proposed amendments to certain provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. These recommendations assume significance in the backdrop of some high-profile drug cases including the recent arrest of Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.

The recommendations of the Ministry include de-criminalization of cases of possession of narcotic substances in small quantities for personal use purposes. Another suggestion is to treat individuals with small amounts of drug use as ‘victims’.

However, there is a need to understand the underlying causes of widespread drug abuse in India and then take comprehensive action.

Causes of drug addiction in India

Socioeconomic status: Low income, unemployment, income inequality, low educational level, limited opportunities for advancement, and lack of health services.

Social Capital: Low social support and low community participation.

Environmental Events: Natural disasters, wars, conflicts, climate change, environmental degradation, and migration.

Social changes are associated with changes in income, urbanization, and environmental degradation.

‘Stress Buster’: Sometimes students turn to drugs due to the pressure of their studies or work. Also, students coming from other states find it difficult to survive in metros like Mumbai, Delhi.

It is generally seen that an unemployed youth starts taking drugs out of desperation.

Peer pressure and other psychological factors can cause teens to engage in risky behaviors, leading them to substance abuse.

Young people may also be attracted to it because of an imaginary ‘glamor’ associated with the use of drugs.

Sometimes young people become addicted to drugs even because of fun or just trying it out.

Pain and deprivation: People in the low-income group, who do not even have the ability to collect enough food, turn to drugs for sleep or rest.

Defects of the legal system:

Drug cartels, crime syndicates, and eventually Pakistani intelligence agency ISI are behind the drugs crisis, which is the largest supplier of drugs to India.

There are reports of rave parties being organized in the country, where drug abuse is the main attraction.

These parties are run by drug syndicates who have their own vested interests.

Social media plays an important role in organizing such parties.

The police have failed to control such parties.

Drugs are smuggled through states like Punjab, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh that share borders with neighboring countries.

Products such as noodles, pan masala, and gutkha are mixed with drugs and sold to school and college students.

The route to Africa as well as South Asia is being misused to bring drugs into the country.

drug addiction effects

Higher risk of injuries, accidents, incidents of domestic violence, medical problems, and death.

It also impacts the economic potential of the country, as youth indulge in drug abuse and its loss has to bear the demographic dividend.

Also, drugs affect relationships with family and friends, causing emotional and social problems.

Providing additional funds and resources for police patrolling and rehabilitation centers adds to the financial burden.

Drug abuse seriously affects our health, safety, peace, and development.

There is an increase in diseases such as hepatitis B and C and TB.

There may be an increase in criminal acts and even suicidal tendencies due to drug dependence, low self-esteem, hopelessness, etc.

Challenges to curbing the drug crisis

Legally Available Drugs: Example- Tobacco, which poses a serious problem and is commonly seen as a ‘gateway drug’ and is also consumed by children in the name of just trying it out.
Lack of Availability of Rehabilitation Centers: There is a dearth of rehabilitation centers in India. Moreover, the NGOs operating de-addiction centers in the country have also failed to provide the required kind of treatment and therapy.
Drugs smuggling: Drugs are smuggled through states like Punjab, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh that share borders with neighboring countries.

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act

India is a signatory to the ‘UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), ‘Convention on Psychotropic Substances’ (1971), and ‘Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances’ (1988), which prescribes narcotics for medical and scientific purposes. Prescribes various measures to achieve the twin objective of limiting the use of drugs and psychotropic substances as well as preventing their misuse.

The administrative and legislative system in the field of narcotics in the country has been established in accordance with the spirit of the United Nations Conventions. The original legislative instrument of the Government of India in this regard is the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act – 1985.

The Act makes stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

It also provides for the confiscation of property obtained or used in the illegal trade of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances.

It also provides for the death penalty in certain cases where a person is found to have repeatedly indulged in the act.

way ahead

There is a need to provide adequate scientific evidence-based treatment for people with substance use disorders.

Evidence-Based Substance Use Prevention Programs are needed to protect youth.

Prevention programs should not only address risk and protective factors aimed at preventing substance use, but also ensure that young people reach healthy adulthood and are empowered to realize their potentials So that they can become productive members of their community and society.

There is a need to create a conducive legal and policy environment to help control drug-related problems.

It is important that laws and policies aim to provide health and wellness services to people affected by substance abuse rather than subject them to the criminal justice system.

There is a need for efficient coordination between the drug supply control sector as well as the institutions involved in drug demand reduction and harm reduction.

The approach to generating and using scientific evidence must continue.

All types of data should be used to promote evidence-based policies and programs to protect and promote the health and well-being of Indian society.


The objective of the action plan is to build an addiction-free India, especially by combating the growing menace in colleges and universities. There is a need to design a more targeted campaign against drug and substance abuse.

Addiction to drugs or drugs should not be seen as a character defect but as a disease. Therefore, the stigma associated with drug abuse needs to be reduced through social awareness and voluntary procedures, such as medical assistance by psychologists, as well as strong family support.

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