Its not new to know that the Drug usage in India is on the rise. According to some sources, There are approx 70 million drug users in India. The Agency, Narcotics Control Bureau shows that use of synthetic drugs is increasing at an alarming rate.
The most disturbing trend, however, is that drug use, particularly synthetic drug use is skyrocketing among children. According to a study commissioned by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), conducted in 27 states by AIIMS, heroin use among children was the highest in Meghalaya at 27.3%, followed by Punjab at 19.3%. Less than 15% children from Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Odisha abuse this drug while in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal the usage stood at 9-10%. 88.6% children from Mizoram, 25% in Meghalaya and Rajasthan, 23.5% in Maharashtra and 13 % children in Punjab abuse injectable drugs. Abuse of other drugs such as opium, inhalants and alcohol is also extremely high.
It is a commonly accepted fact that drug abuse is on the rise in India. However, the true extent of the proliferation of drugs in this country will surprise many. According to estimates, there are approximately 70 million drug abusers in India. Data on drugs seizure by the Narcotics Control Bureau shows that consumption and smuggling of synthetic drugs, which are much more dangerous and addictive than natural ones, has been steadily increasing while that of natural drugs has been decreasing. Between 2009 and 2012, smuggling and consumption of cocaine and ephedrine increased by over 250% and that of morphine increased by over 500% while among natural extracts, only opium saw an increase over the same period, that too only because opium is used to manufacture heroin.
Drugs worth Rs. 2000 crores are smuggled to India everyday. 20% of addicts in de addiction centres are children below 16. Drugs are available at prices as low as 25 Rupees in local chemist shops without prescription. Journalist and Sobriety activist Vijay Simha says that Punjab is on the verge of economic ruin and it’s the Greece of India. Banks have stopped lending to the state. Yet, no one is talking about it.
The main reason behind all this seems to be Unemployment, Illiteracy and feudal methods of farming. Punjab is paying the price for wealth created during Green Revolution and is facing the problems that most developed economies face in Europe and US but is unheard of in India! The farmers of Punjab don’t work in their fields any more, employing labor from UP & Bihar to work in their fields they get more time to socialize and use of drug has become a pass time. This change is reflective, in the changes in popular culture and ethos of Punjab, as icons have changed from Gurudas Mann to Honey Singh.
Its also pretty clear that there are some government elements , police and BSF involved to help spread the use of drugs… and even though Police and Authorities regularly seize large amounts of drugs regularly, Political will definitely seems to be missing .
It has become a Election issue for contesting parties and has brought this topic in media and prime time. We hope this helps the Anti Drug Movements to gain momentum and helps India get rid of this addition which can ruin entire generations.