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Social Justice

Fighting Drug Addiction

  • 04 Jan 2021
  • 8 min read

Why in News

Recently, people in a few villages of Jodhpur district’s Bilara block, Rajasthan have come together to tackle Drug Addiction among the youth.

Key Points

  • Steps Taken By the Villagers:
    • Boycott of persons consuming liquor, tobacco and narcotics.
    • Imposition of a penalty on the sellers and buyers of these substances.
  • Drug Addiction:
    • It refers to the condition of being addicted to a drug, particularly narcotic drugs.
    • These are generally illegal drugs that affect the mood and behaviour of a person.
    • Drug abuse refers to the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the brain.
    • There are over 190 million drug users around the world and the problem has been increasing at alarming rates, especially among young adults under the age of 30.
  • Drug Menace In India:
    • The menace of drug addiction has spread fast among the youth of India.
    • India is sandwiched between two largest Opium producing regions of the world that is the Golden triangle on one side and the Golden crescent on other.
      • The golden triangle area comprises Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos.
      • The golden crescent area includes Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
    • As per the report Magnitude of Substance Use in India released by All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) in 2019:
      • Alcohol is the most abused substance in India.
      • Around 5 crore Indians reported to have used cannabis and opioids at the time of the survey (conducted in the year 2018).
      • It has been estimated that there are about 8.5 lakh people who inject drugs.
      • Of the total cases estimated by the report, more than half of them are contributed by states like Punjab, Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh.
      • About 60 lakh people are estimated to need help for their opioid use problems.
    • More and more children are taking to alcohol consumption and the highest percentage of children who are addicted to alcohol are in Punjab followed by West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Major Reasons for Drug Abuse:
    • To be accepted by the peers.
    • Increasing economic stress.
    • Changing cultural values.
    • Experimentation.
    • Neurotic pleasure.
    • Ineffective Policing.
  • Impacts of Drug Abuse:
    • Higher risk of unintentional injuries, accidents, domestic violence incidents, medical problems, and death.
    • Economic potential gets wasted.
    • Affects relationships with family, friends creating emotional and social problems
    • Increases financial burden.
    • Drug abuse seriously affects our health, security, peace and development.
    • Drug dependence, low self esteem, hopelessness can lead to criminal action and even suicidal tendencies.
  • Challenges to Curb the Drug Menace:
    • Legally Available Drugs:
      • Such as tobacco is a huge problem which is usually seen as a gateway drug which children take just to experiment with.
    • Lack of Availability of Rehabilitation Centres:
      • There is a lack of rehabilitation centres. Also, NGOs operating de-addiction centres in the country, have failed to provide the required kind of treatment and therapy.
    • Smuggling of Drugs:
      • Smuggling of drugs through the states like Punjab, Assam and Uttar Pradesh which share the border with neighbouring countries.
  • Government Initiatives to Tackle Drug Addiction:
    • It constituted the Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) in November, 2016 and revived the scheme of “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control”.
    • Narcotics Control Bureau has been provided funds for developing a new software i.e. Seizure Information Management System (SIMS) which will create a complete online database of drug offences and offenders.
    • The government has constituted a fund called “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse” to meet the expenditure incurred in connection with combating illicit traffic in Narcotic Drugs; rehabilitating addicts, and educating the public against drug abuse, etc.
    • 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' 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.
    • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, (NDPS) 1985: 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.
    • 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

  • 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. There is a need to strictly implement the NDPS Act.
  • Radical political decisions like that one of alcohol prohibition in Bihar may be another solution. When people do not exercise self-control, a state has to step in, as part of the Directive Principles of State Policy (Article 47).
  • Education curriculum should include chapters on drug addiction, its impact and also on de-addiction. Proper Counselling is another alternative.

Source:TH

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