Drug Menace in India

By Nitin Singhal|Updated : March 30th, 2021

Hello Aspirants,

This article is about Drug Menace in India which is one of the important topic in GS Mains of Civil Services Examination. This article will be beneficial for both revision as well as Mains Answer Writing Practise. 

Drug abuse can be defined as a pattern of use of some specific drugs in much higher quantities and with a deferent method then specified for a prolonged period which is harmful to the user. Some examples of the common drugs which are commonly abused are ‘ganja’, ‘Alcohol’, ‘opium’, ‘hashish’, ‘heroin etc. It is a very serious public health and social issue which is affecting not only the user but also his/her family and society to a large extent. India is located between the two largest opium-producing areas of the world, i.e. the Golden Triangle in the east and Golden Crescent in the west. Hence, India is extremely vulnerable to drug trafficking from these areas. 

Important Facts

  • In a survey conducted during the year 2000-2001 by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Min of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt of India, whose report was published in 2004, it was assessed that around 732 lakh persons in India use alcohol and drugs. 
  • In a recent study conducted by the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, it was revealed that in Punjab, around 4.1 million people had found to have used some form of drug at least once in their lifetime.
  • In a report conducted by AIIMS called as “Magnitude of Substance Use in India” which was sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, it was revealed that the most abusive substance in India is Alcohol. In the survey, it was revealed that approximately five crore Indians reported having used opioids and cannabis and around 60 lakh people need help for their opioid problems. Nationally around 8.5 lakh people were found to be injecting drugs. More than half of them belongs to the states like Assam, Haryana, Delhi, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim. In most of the surveys, Punjab ranks in the top five and hence is very vulnerable in this regard. 

International Day against Drug Abuse

  • The problem of drug abuse is an international issue for a long time.
  • Hence, for tackling the abuse of the drug, the United Nations decided to mark a day and passed a resolution on 07th December 1987 in the United Nations General Assembly for the same. 
  • Since then, 26th June is celebrated as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking for strengthening global cooperation and action for achieving its aim of a drug-free society. 
  • The theme for 2019 was, ‘Health for Justice, Justice for Health’. 

Reasons for Drug abuse

  • The process of urbanisation, industrialisation and migration to different places led to the loosening of the traditional methods of control in society. This has led to a new way of life with different values. 
  • The ratio of drug abuse in children and adolescents is higher than the other age group population. The main reason for this is changing cultural values and low priority of ethical values in our education system, which results in the addiction of drugs in the later stage. 
  • The glorification in Cinemas, television and media is one of the reasons for the increase of drug abuse. Media and television romanticise the issue of drug use which attracts the young generation and results in misuse.
  • Stress in daily life is also a big reason due to which an individual starts using drugs and at a later stage, become addictive of the same. 

Impact of Drugs abuse


  • Drug abuse increases the risk of many drug abuse-related diseases. 
  • It disturbs the envious system of the body and hence affects the normal behaviour of the individual. 
  • It affects the moral, psychological and intellectual decay of an individual and therefore, the capability of an individual of contributing to the national growth. 
  • It destroys the values and leads to many social problems, physical and mental assault. 
  • Increase in the rate of violence and crime has a direct co-relation with drug abuse.  
  • It creates hopelessness and may lead to depression in the later stage. 
  • It is a social discourse and is a reason for many social problems in society.
  • It hampers the peace and security of society at large. 
  • It diverts the attention of the young generation to a different path which at later stage leading of decay in the moral values. 
  • A large amount of financial loss of the middle class is associated with drug abuse. 
  • Illegal distribution and production of drugs is a major reason for increasing crime and violence worldwide.

Concerns / Challenges:

  • The increase in the number of drug and alcohol addictions is alarming.
  • Even after an increase in the number of drug abuse ratio, the de-action centres are very low and hence is a cause of concern as there is no concrete plan of action for handling this issue. 
  • Drug addiction is a mental issue and needs to deal with accordingly. However, it is not considered a mental disease.
  • Inhumane treatment of the drug abusers increases the problem and lead to further addiction, which is a cause of concern. 
  • NDPS criminalizes drug usage even though there is no such convention under international conventions. Addicted people needs treatment rather than being sent to Jail. 
  • Chronic drug abusers who are addicted to the drug have rare chances of complete de-addiction. 

Solutions of drug menace

  • Drug abuse prevention programmes need to be strengthened at local, state and national level.
  • These prevention programmes should involve friends, families and society at large for getting better results and eradication of this social evil for once and all.
  • Media, Cinema and television, may be used for awareness about the consequences of drug abuse.
  • Media, Cinema and television, must not glorify the use of any sort of drugs. Much more control is required in this regard.
  • NGOs established in this field have a greater role to play and needs to handle the issue accordingly. 
  • All legal measures need to be implanted in letter and spirit for the eradication of this drug abuse problem from the root.
  • The acts/laws made for control of drug menace needs to be effective implementation. 
  • All international efforts need to be coordinated for stopping the drug trafficking in the country from neighbouring countries.
  • Use of international organisation for awareness and control of drug abuse needs to be enhanced.   
  • The world community needs to be sensitised in this regard for better results in controlling drug abuse. 

 Governments initiative

  • The Govt of India in 2016 has constituted (NCORD) Narco-Coordination Centre for reviewing the Financial Assistance granted to States for Narcotics Control.
  • Govt of India revised the Reward guidelines in 2017 with the increased quantum of reward for seizure and interdiction of illicit drugs.
  • Govt of India has signed 37 bilateral ties/agreements/MoUs for effective coordination with foreign countries.
  • Funds have been provided by the Govt of India to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for development of new software for creating online database drug offenders and offences.
  • The Govt of India has constituted a fund to meet the expenditure requirement required for combating illicit trafficking of drugs and creating awareness in the society called as “National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse.”

Way forward

  • Prevention is better than cure, and hence all section of society needs to be made aware of the drug addiction and abuse consequences.
  • A reliable support system is required to be made for recovering such drug abuse people.     
  • Drug abuse prevention programmes of the NGOs or governments must involve friends, families and all section of society for its total eradication. 
  • Central and State Governments should open more numbers of de-addiction centres. 
  • All de-addiction centres must have minimum standards notified by the government for running the same. 
  • More NGOs needs to be promoted for public awareness and de-addiction of drug abuse. 
  • Fast track courts should be established for dealing the cases of illicit drug trafficking. 
  • Drug de-addiction centre’s needs to be combined with rehabilitation centres for better results.
  • School education should include a chapter on the consequences of drug abuse for more awareness in the young generation.

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