Drugs are a dangerous peril which have caused wreckage across the world. Drug addiction is one of the biggest unconventional security threats countries are facing. With populations being entrapped in this menace, desperate measures need to be taken to eradicate this addiction as early and effectively as possible.
Their count rising each day, drugs are increasingly becoming the cause of devastation for millions. At a global level, substance abuse is sought as a solution by many to tackle their troubles, the biggest one being stress. In today’s modern world, people are readily jeopardizing their health to combat the problems they face in their daily lives. Drug abuse has
innumerable causes but they all seem to sum up to one common catalyst that is handling their personal or professional problems due to variant reasons.
Quite a few countries in the world are a victim to high tolls of drug abuse, but the most adversely affected are Iran, Slovakia, Afghanistan, Canada,
Brazil, Mexico etc. A myriad of drugs flooding the markets of these countries include heroin, marijuana, meth and oxi. These substances
like heroin are extremely harmful and can cause big setbacks to a person’s mental, physical and neurological health. Internationally, so many peoples are suffering because of drug and
addiction related plights. As we shift our perspective to India, it is observed that India isn’t
drug free either. Many states in the country are struck by this appalling menace. Punjab, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur and
Uttar Pradesh are to name a few. With Heroine/Brown sugar being the most prevalent, the United Nations has made its word declaring India as the largest consumer of heroine in the southern portion of Asia. In addition, as per the Times of India, seventeen tons of heroin is consumed by Indians out of the total forty tons produced in South
Asia. With so much of heroine pouring into India and being consumed, the way has been
paved for other drugs to enter India as well culminating in the high demand for substances like cocaine. The substance abuse has caused
immense damage to the abusers and their families.
As per reports (2014), at an average there are seven to ten suicides each day due to drugs. The reality is beyond belief but it is true that suicides due to drug related issues exceed the number of suicides due to dowry, poverty or economic conditions. The figures of drug-suicides have leaped by a horrifying 149% between 2004 and 2013. As per the official data (collected by the Ministry of Social Justice
and environment), India has a drug-addict population of 3.4 million contrary to unofficial figures that claim the number to be 5 million.
India is highly vulnerable to drugs because it is sandwiched between the Golden Crescent and the Golden triangle (towards the northwest and
northeast respectively) which are the worlds two major drug routes and poppy growing areas.
However, all the areas in India are not equally affected. The situation is the worst in states like the state of Punjab. Punjab is the state worst hit by the gruesome menace of drugs. Approximately, 60% of the illicit drugs seized in India are
confiscated in Punjab. An unfortunate trend that can be seen in drug addiction statistics is that most drug users are people of the young generation or the youth. To quote some shocking figures, it is said that about 70-75 percent of the youth in Punjab is addicted to drugs. This is turning the nation’s biggest asset into a liability which is a colossal red alert. A huge number of
people of the ages between 15 and 35 abuse drugs in the state and it is estimated that it might lose a whole generation to drugs. The problem is impossible to quantify precisely. But the approximate figures are immensely alarming. With substance abuse being “in vogue”, the demographic dividend which India brags cannot be extracted leading to gigantic social and economic loss for the country.
So in order to eliminate this evil, various organizations have joined hands and governments have initiated measures. Some examples being International Criminal Police Organization (the largest inter-governmental organization involved in the fight against crimes like drug abuse), United Nations International Drug Control Program, International Narcotics Control board (it is a control organ for the implementation of the United Nations Drug Conventions). There are some organizations in operation at the national level also like the Narcotics Control Bureau (under the home ministry), National Anti Doping Agency etc. India also has a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act which is worth mentioning. According to this act, it is illegal for a person to “produce/manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.” Substance abuse is a hazard not only to the abuser but to the community as a whole. A major community effort is required to eradicate this
menace. In addition to the government, all the stakeholders, the youth, and the civil society organizations have to come together to annihilate this evil completely. It is important to educate people and spread awareness about the adverse consequences of drug abuse. Also, proper rehabilitation and counselling centers need to be set up. As noted earlier, stress and life problems disrupt mental health which may lead to drug abuse. Thus, care for mental health has to be promoted and the stigma around it has to be broken. Proper policies, strict laws, effective implementation, community work, de-stigmatization of treatment etc. are some imperative steps in the discourse of action that needs to be pursued. In other words, huge effort is urgently required in this direction. Drugs shouldn’t be providing the high instead of the strides of development. As it is rightly said, no drug is a cure, they are the enemies of ambition and hope.