Drug addiction in India
The National Committee on Drug Addiction evaluated the prevalence of drug abuse in the total population on the basis of data available from few studies at the national level. The conclusions of the committee were as under-
- In keeping with the Indian Tradition the proportion of those who never used drugs is very large.
- Alcohol, opium and cannabis are the main drug abused.
- The proportion of regular users is very small and that of addicts smaller still (except for tobacco).
- The prevalence of drug abuse is substantially more among males then females.
In 1991 a team of experts from SAARC countries conducted a study and found that – youths between ages 15 and 30 are most vulnerable to drug abuse.
The problem affected the persons irrespective of their culture, religious and socio-economic grouping.
The study team also expressed concern over the drug menace in the region and suggested running of counseling De-addiction and after care centers for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
Steps Undertaken in India –
- The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, has been brought into force all over the country to deal more effectively with the problem. The act provides for minimum punishment of 10 years rigors imprisonment and a fine of INR 1 Lac which may be extendable up to 2 Lakhs and 20 years of rigors imprisonment. In respect of repeated offences the act provides for a minimum punishment of 15 years rigorous imprisonment extendable up to 30 years.
An apex body, “Narcotic Control Bureau” for effectively preventing and combating abuse of drugs and illicit trafficking of drugs has been constituted under the new act.
- Ministry of Information & Broadcasting have adopted multimedia approach towards awareness building for drug abuse control.
- University Grants Commission has circulated among all universities a proposal regarding establishment of counseling and guidance centers in educational institutions as a part of overall programme for student’s welfare.
- Ministry of Welfare Functions as a nodal ministry for the prevention of drug abuse and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
- Ministry of Welfare has setup a number of community based counseling and guidance centers and De-addiction and rehabilitation centers.
- National Institute of Social Defence has been training functionaries of Governmental and Non-Governmental Agencies engaged in drug abuse and prevention, organizers workshops, training courses and seminars.