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01-July-2024-Special-Article

July 1 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

DRUG ABUSE IN INDIA 

Drug abuse and trafficking pose significant challenges globally, impacting public health, national security, and socio-economic stability.  

In India, these issues are particularly complex due to various factors such as poverty, social influences, and geographical proximity to major drug-producing regions like the Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle. 

Addressing these challenges requires comprehensive strategies that encompass prevention, treatment, law enforcement, and international cooperation. 

Highlights of Drug Abuse in India 

  • Prevalence and Trends: 
  • Around 100 million people in India are estimated to be addicted to various narcotic substances, reflecting a sharp rise in drug abuse. 
  • States like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab report high incidences of drug-related crimes under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. 
  • Factors Contributing to Drug Abuse: 
  • Poverty and Unemployment: Individuals in lower-income groups often turn to cheap and readily available drugs to cope with economic hardships. 
  • Social Influences: Peer pressure, influence from media, and imitation of celebrities contribute to drug experimentation among youth. 
  • Legal System Loopholes: Organized crime syndicates exploit weak border controls and misuse trade routes for drug trafficking, exacerbating the problem. 

Challenges in Drug Trafficking 

  • Geographical Vulnerabilities: 
  • India shares porous borders with countries like Myanmar, facilitating illicit drug flows through difficult terrains and dense forests. 
  • The India-Myanmar border, for instance, poses significant security challenges due to its rugged landscape and inadequate surveillance. 
  • Socio-Economic Factors: 
  • Poverty and lack of employment opportunities in regions like the North East contribute to local involvement in drug-related activities out of economic necessity. 
  • Local tribes and residents may inadvertently participate in drug trafficking due to limited alternatives and economic pressures. 
  • Global Drug Supply Hubs: 
  • The Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan) and Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand) regions collectively supply a vast majority of the world’s illicit drugs, impacting India’s efforts to curb trafficking. 

Legislative Framework: Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 

  • Objectives and Provisions: 
  • Regulates the manufacture, transport, and consumption of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. 
  • Specifies stringent penalties, including imprisonment and fines, for offenses related to drug trafficking, cultivation, and financing illicit activities. 
  • Established the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to enforce the provisions of the Act and coordinate with international agencies. 

Initiatives to Tackle Drug Abuse 

  • Project Sunrise: 
  • Launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to address rising HIV prevalence among people injecting drugs in North Eastern states. 
  • Focuses on harm reduction strategies and improving access to healthcare services for drug users. 
  • Nasha Mukt Bharat Campaign: 
  • Government initiative aimed at creating a drug-free India through community outreach programs, awareness campaigns, and rehabilitation efforts. 
  • Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD): 
  • Established to enhance coordination between various enforcement agencies and streamline efforts in combating drug trafficking. 
  • Seizure Information Management System (SIMS): 
  • A technological initiative by NCB to create an online database for tracking drug offenses and offenders, improving intelligence sharing and operational efficiency. 
  • National Drug Abuse Survey: 
  • Conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in collaboration with AIIMS to assess the extent and trends of drug abuse in India, guiding policy interventions. 

Comprehensive Strategy for Combating Drug Abuse 

  • Prevention Strategies: 
  • Implementing media campaigns and educational programs targeting vulnerable populations, emphasizing the risks associated with drug abuse. 
  • Early intervention initiatives in schools and workplaces to build resilience against peer pressure and promote healthy lifestyles. 
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation: 
  • Providing accessible treatment facilities and comprehensive support services for individuals with drug use disorders. 
  • Addressing stigma associated with seeking help for drug addiction, promoting a holistic approach to recovery. 
  • Law Enforcement Measures: 
  • Strengthening border security and surveillance to intercept drug shipments and dismantle trafficking networks. 
  • Enhancing international cooperation through agencies like Interpol to combat transnational drug trafficking operations. 
  • Technological Integration: 
  • Utilizing advanced technologies such as Big Data analytics and AI to identify and track drug trafficking patterns and networks. 
  • Development of online reporting systems like ‘Prahari’ to facilitate citizen engagement in reporting drug-related activities. 

Humanitarian Approach and Policy Reforms 

  • Public Health Perspective: 
  • Advocating for reforms in drug policies to prioritize public health and human rights over punitive measures. 
  • Redirecting resources towards rehabilitation and harm reduction strategies to improve outcomes for individuals affected by drug abuse. 
  • International Cooperation: 
  • Collaborating with neighboring countries and international organizations to address cross-border drug trafficking challenges and enhance regional security. 

Conclusion 

Addressing drug abuse and trafficking in India requires a multi-dimensional approach that integrates prevention, treatment, law enforcement, and international cooperation.  

By strengthening legislative frameworks, implementing targeted initiatives, and adopting a humanitarian perspective, India can mitigate the impact of drug abuse on society, promote public health, and enhance national security.  

Ongoing efforts to combat drug trafficking and support affected individuals are crucial for building a resilient and drug-free future for the country. 

Mains Question: 

  1. Discuss the multifaceted challenges posed by drug abuse and trafficking in India, and evaluate the effectiveness of the government’s initiatives and strategies in addressing these issues. (150 WORDS)

Details

Date:
July 1
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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