[Public Health] Drug Menace in India, National Policy for Drug Demand Reduction 2014Devendra Vishwakarma
- Drug menace in India
- Existing framework against Drug menace
- Opium: Legal cultivation in India
- National Policy for Drug Demand Reduction, 2014
- Mock questions
Drug menace in India
- Border security angle: Opium, Heroin, and other narcotic drugs smuggled across border. Punjab is located near the “Golden Crescent” area of Af-Pak narcotic trade.
- Synthetic drugs: Desi pharma-units making illegal synthetic-drugs such as methamphetamine (nicknamed “ice”). Addicts even use tranquilizers, pain-killers, sedatives and cough-syrups with codeines for getting ‘kicks’.
- Private de-addiction centres mushroomed like coaching centres. Lack of professionalism, most patients leave without completing the proper rehab course.
- Syringe-sharing leads to HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. Khundrapkam Pradipkumar, the famous bodybuilder from Manipur got AIDS infection because of syringe sharing.
- Nexus among smugglers, police and politicians.
- 2/3rd Punjabi rural-households have a drug addict, says Punjab government in High court (2009).
- 70% of Punjabi youth are drug-addicts (!) says Rahulbaba (2014)
- 90 lakh Indian use Cannabis (2001 Health ministry report)
- Majority of drug-junkies located in North East (also responsible for HIV-menace), Rajasthan, Punjab, metro cities and engineering colleges.
- Drugs are becoming a part of machismo culture and attracting more and more youth through rave parties and peer-pressure.
- India can’t reap its Demographic dividend if youth is addicted to drugs.
Existing framework against Drug menace
- Constitution of India: Directive principles of State Policy Art. 47- State shall prohibit consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs, while increasing standard of living, health-nutritional level.
- 1940: Drug and Cosmetic Act- puts stringent labeling and distribution rules for sale of narcotic drugs for medical purposes.
- 60s, 70s and 80s: India signed various UN conventions against Narcotic drugs. And to put those foreign treaties into action, Parliament enacted following law (as per Article 253).
- 1985: Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. But too many loopholes
- Hard to find independence witnesses because everyone has taken drugs at rave parties!
- Possession of raw material alone is not an ‘evidence’ that xyz person or company is involved in making synthetic drugs.
- State police officers have insufficient funds to buy scientific kits for drug-detection. Most of them are not even trained to use it.
- Government doctors are not trained to identify druggies. Often medical tests are conducted too late, hence no conclusive report can be presented in court.
- State police doesn’t have enough “secret service fund” to infiltrate and detain organized smuggler rings- like in those Hollywood movies and crime serials.
- Courts overburdened with other cases, suspects get bail for chargesheets not filed on time and so on.
- 2002: National AIDS control policy aims to reduce drug-addicts.
- 2012: Finance ministry drafts the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. But it too had shortcomings:
- Main focus on supply side angles e.g. stopping the raw material used in synthetic narco-drug production.
- Using satellite imagery to detect poppy-seed cultivation but lack of coordination between space agency vs field agencies.
- 2015: Akali Dal launches “Nasha Mukt Bharat” campaign; Congress demands ban on opium cultivation
Opium: Legal cultivation in India
- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have permitted cultivation of Opium for medicinal purpose.
- This Opium is used for manufacturing morphine (analgesic for cancer patients and soldiers injured in war), codein (cough-syrup) and thebaine (used in industrial chemicals).
- But lot of that opium produce is diverted for illegal use.
National Policy for Drug Demand Reduction, 2014
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment designed this policy.
|1.Survey||First, we’ll do a national Survey of drug junkies by 31st March 2015.|
|2.Demandreduction||for both categories Illegal drugs: heroin, opium; Misused drugs: tranquilizers, painkillers, cough syrups|