Importance of Tracking Drug Addicts in India

Recently we have witnessed that about 20 kgs of Ephedrine was seized in Hyderabad. It is a major component in preparing dangerous drugs like Ecstacy and Methamphetamine. A few days back in Pune blasts, we came to know that the German Bakery was a venue of illicit drugs. Meghalaya customs officials seized about 35,000 bottles of codeine-based phensidyl concealed in potato bags this year. Punjab Police seized 28 kgs of heroin in Amritsar this year. Police said these consignments of drugs are from Pakistan to be sold in the local markets. There are many more reports involving illicit drug trade in India.

Is it any indication that the illicit drug trade in India is taking a new threatening dimension? It is important to understand the illicit drugs problem in detail, because drugs and its effects are frequently regarded as ‘victimless’ in India.

However, data or statistics relating to drugs and drug addiction in India is very poor in India. The only and the last national household survey was conducted in the year 2000. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported it in the year 2005 taking information from this survey as well as other data. This UNODC report stated that there were about 10 million (alcohol), 2.3 million (cannabis) and 0.5 million (opiates) chronic substance-dependent individuals in 2004 in India. The survey also revealed that the treatment resources available were not matching number of dependent drug users who needed immediate treatment in 2004.

If that were the situation six years back, how would it be today? Therefore the first step in overcoming this problem is to conduct a survey of illicit drug abuse detecting the drug addicts. Once we understand the latest facts, it will be easy to figure out a solution to this problem.

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