[Public Health] Drug Menace in India, National Policy for Drug Demand Reduction 2014

Opium Cultivation in India

[Public Health] Drug Menace in India, National Policy for Drug Demand Reduction 2014

  1. Drug menace in India
  2. Existing framework against Drug menace
  3. Opium: Legal cultivation in India
  4. National Policy for Drug Demand Reduction, 2014
  5. Mock questions

Drug menace in India

  1. 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.
  2. 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’.
  3. Private de-addiction centres mushroomed like coaching centres. Lack of professionalism, most patients leave without completing the proper rehab course.
  4. Syringe-sharing leads to HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. Khundrapkam Pradipkumar, the famous bodybuilder from Manipur got AIDS infection because of syringe sharing.
  5. Nexus among smugglers, police and politicians.
  6. 2/3rd Punjabi rural-households have a drug addict, says Punjab government in High court (2009).
  7. 70% of Punjabi youth are drug-addicts (!) says Rahulbaba (2014)
  8. 90 lakh Indian use Cannabis (2001 Health ministry report)
  9. Majority of drug-junkies located in North East (also responsible for HIV-menace), Rajasthan, Punjab, metro cities and engineering colleges.
  10. Drugs are becoming a part of machismo culture and attracting more and more youth through rave parties and peer-pressure.
  11. India can’t reap its Demographic dividend if youth is addicted to drugs.

Existing framework against Drug menace

  1. 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.
  2. 1940: Drug and Cosmetic Act- puts stringent labeling and distribution rules for sale of narcotic drugs for medical purposes.
  3. 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).
  4. 1985: Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. But too many loopholes
    1. Hard to find independence witnesses because everyone has taken drugs at rave parties!
    2. Possession of raw material alone is not an ‘evidence’ that xyz person or company is involved in making synthetic drugs.
    3. State police officers have insufficient funds to buy scientific kits for drug-detection. Most of them are not even trained to use it.
    4. Government doctors are not trained to identify druggies. Often medical tests are conducted too late, hence no conclusive report can be presented in court.
    5. State police doesn’t have enough “secret service fund” to infiltrate and detain organized smuggler rings- like in those Hollywood movies and crime serials.
  5. Courts overburdened with other cases, suspects get bail for chargesheets not filed on time and so on.
  6. 2002: National AIDS control policy aims to reduce drug-addicts.
  7. 2012: Finance ministry drafts the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. But it too had shortcomings:
    1. Main focus on supply side angles e.g. stopping the raw material used in synthetic narco-drug production.
    2. Using satellite imagery to detect poppy-seed cultivation but lack of coordination between space agency vs field agencies.
  8. 2015: Akali Dal launches “Nasha Mukt Bharat” campaign; Congress demands ban on opium cultivation

Opium: Legal cultivation in India

Opium Cultivation in India

  1. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have permitted cultivation of Opium for medicinal purpose.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

What’re the salient features of 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
3.Awareness4.focus
  1. We’ll create awareness about drug-abuse among individuals, families, workplace and society at large.
  2. We’ll focus on Street-Children, Beggars, Homeless, sex-workers, truck-drivers, Women with druggie husbands, prisoners already serving terms for narc-offenses and engineering students living in hostels.
5.UniformTreatment
  • We’ll help druggies get rehabilitation, aftercare, vocational training so they can re-integrate in the society.
  • De-addiction centres will have to get accreditation certificates. This will ensure nation-wide uniform treatment. We’ll order NIC to setup an online portal for monitoring druggies undergoing treatment.
6.Finance7.collaboration
  1. We’ll pour money on Research, training, HRD and other fancy things at AIIMS, NIMHANS, Government hospitals and NGOs.
  2. We’ll collaborate with various bodies at national & international level- including NGO, SHG, civil society members, celebrities and social media.
8.Accountability
  1. Union minister for Social justice=>National Committee => State/UT Committees=> Local bodies doing social audit of national policy.
  2. we’ll involve civil society, criminal justice, social care, health care, education-employment system.

Mock questions

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