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Drug Menace

  • 16 Dec 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Drug Menace, Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan/Drugs-Free India Campaign, World Drug Report 2022

For Mains: Problem of drug abuse and related Initiatives, World Drug Report 2022.

Why in News?

Kerala is using sports to tackle drug menace, for which its Excise department has created clubs near college campuses and hostels in Kerala.

  • Apart from making students motivated to participate in sports, awareness classes are conducted and information on substance abuse is shared.

What is the Status of Drug Menace in India?

  • The menace of drug addiction has spread fast among the youth of India.
  • India is one of the world's single largest opiate markets in terms of users and would likely be vulnerable to increased supply.
    • This is because of the intensification of trafficking in opiates originating in Afghanistan may be taking place eastwards, in addition to southwards and westwards along the traditional Balkan route.
  • According to World Drug Report 2022, India has the fourth largest quantity of opium seized in 2020 at 5.2 tons and the third-highest amount of morphine was also seized in the same year at 0.7 tons.
  • According to the World Drug Report 2021, prescription drugs and their ingredients or 'precursors' are being increasingly diverted for recreational use in India--the largest manufacturer of generic drugs in the world.
    • India is also linked to shipment of drugs sold on the 19 major darknet markets analysed over 2011-2020.

What are the Initiatives to Cope with Drug Menace?

  • Indian:
    • Narco-Coordination Centre: The Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) was constituted in November, 2016 and the scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control” was revived.
    • Seizure Information Management System (SIMS): SIMS is a e-portal created by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to create a complete online database of drug offences and offenders.
    • National Drug Abuse Survey: The government is also conducting a National Drug Abuse Survey to measure trends of drug abuse in India through the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment with the help of National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS.
    • Project Sunrise: It was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016, to tackle the rising HIV prevalence in north-eastern states in India, especially among people injecting drugs.
    • NDPS Act: It prohibits a person from producing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transporting, storing, and/or consuming any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
      • The NDPS Act has since been amended thrice – in 1988, 2001 and 2014.
      • The Act extends to the whole of India and it applies also to all Indian citizens outside India and to all persons on ships and aircraft registered in India.
    • Nasha Mukt Bharat: Government has also announced the launch of the ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat’, or Drug-Free India Campaign which focuses on community outreach programs.
  • International Treaties and Conventions to Combat Drug Menace:

Way Forward

  • While steps must be taken to stop supply by tamping down on cross-border trafficking, imposing harsher penalties under the NDPS Act, or improving drug enforcement, India must also address the problem on the demand side.
  • Addiction should not be seen as a character flaw, but as an ailment that any other person could be struggling with. Therefore, the stigma associated with drug taking needs to be reduced. Society needs to understand that drug-addicts are victims and not criminals.
  • Certain crop drugs which have more than 50% alcohol and opioids need to be contained. Strict action is required from police officers and the excise and narcotics department to curb the problem of drug menace in the country.
  • Education curriculum should include chapters on drug addiction, its impact and also on de-addiction. Proper Counselling is another alternative.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. India’s proximity to the two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What counter-measures should be taken to prevent the same? (2018)

Source: TH

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