Background:
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has proposed that the National Fund to Control Drug Abuse be used for de-addiction programs rather than policing efforts.
  • A proposal to decriminalize small-scale drug possession, as defined under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, was also addressed to the Finance Ministry’s Department of Revenue.
  • Persons arrested with modest amounts of drugs for personal use can be routed to rehab instead of being prosecuted and sentenced to prison if it is approved.
About the Drug Control National Fund:
  • The fund, which had a nominal capital of Rs. 23 crore, was established in compliance with a requirement of the NDPS Act.
  • The sale revenues of any forfeited property, grants provided by any person or institution, and income from the fund’s investments all go toward the fund under the NDPS Act.
  • The fund would be utilized to combat drugs trafficking, rehabilitate addicts, and prevent drug abuse, according to the Act.
Details of the Drug Addiction in India: 
  • The epidemic of drug addiction has quickly expanded among India’s youth.
  • The Golden Triangle on one side and the Golden Crescent on the other, India is wedged between the world’s two major Opium producing regions.
  • Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos make up the golden triangle.
  • Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran are all part of the golden crescent.
  • Prescription medications and their constituents, or ‘precursors,’ are increasingly being diverted for recreational use in India, according to the World Drug Report 2021. India is the world’s largest maker of generic drugs.
  • India is also linked to drug shipments on the 19 major darknet markets studied from 2011 to 2020.
  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s Crime in India 2020 report, the NDPS Act was used in 59,806 incidents.
  • According to a research released by the Social Justice Ministry and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in 2019, there were 3.1 crore cannabis users in India in 2019. (of which 25 lakh were dependent users).
  • There are 2.3 crore opioid users (of which 28 lakh were dependent users).

Other Initiatives:

The Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) was established in November 2016, and the “Financial Assistance to States for Narcotics Control” initiative was resurrected.
  • Narcotics Control Bureau has been given funds to develop a new program called the Seizure Information Management System (SIMS), which will create a comprehensive online database of drug offenses and offenders.
National Drug Misuse Survey: The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS, is undertaking a National Drug Abuse Survey to assess trends in drug abuse in India.
  • Project Sunrise was initiated in 2016 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to combat the rising HIV prevalence in India’s north-eastern states, particularly among drug users.
  • The NDPS Act makes it illegal to manufacture, possess, sell, buy, transport, store, and/or use any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.
  • Since then, the NDPS Act has been revised three times: in 1988, 2001, and 2014.
  • The Act covers the entire country of India, as well as all Indian citizens living abroad and all personnel aboard ships and airplanes registered in India.
Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan: The government has also announced the launch of the ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat’, or Drug-Free India Campaign, which would focus on community outreach.
  • International Drug Control Treaties and Conventions:
  • In order to tackle the threat of drug abuse, India has signed the following international accords and conventions:
  • The United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND) is an international treaty that prohibits the use of narcotic drugs (1961)
  • The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances is a treaty that prohibits the use of psychotropic (1971).
  • The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) (1988)
  • The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) was signed in 2000.
Next Steps:
  • It is necessary to reduce the stigma connected with drug use.
  • Drug users are victims, not criminals, and society must recognize this.
  • Certain agricultural medications containing more than 50% alcohol and opioids must be controlled.
  • To combat the country’s drug problem, police officers and the excise and narcotics departments must take tough measures.
  • Another answer could be radical political actions, such as the prohibition of alcohol in Bihar.
  • As part of the Directive Principles of State Policy, when citizens do not practice self-control, the state must intervene (Article 47).
  • Chapters on drug addiction, its effects, and de-addiction should be included in school curricula. Another option is to seek proper counselling.

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