Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India
Mains level: Menace of narcotic drugs in India
- An addiction plague has steadily swallowed India a/c to a study conducted by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
- The study, named “National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India” is a first of its kind as it gives pan-India and state-level data.
National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India
- The survey report, which was submitted to the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on noted that 5.7 crore people in the country suffered from alcohol related problems.
- The survey spanned all the 36 states and UTs of India and citizens between the ages of 10 to 75 responded to the questions set in the study regarding substance abuse.
- The intoxicant categories that were studied are as follows: alcohol, cannabis (bhang and ganja/charas), opioids (opium, heroin and pharmaceutical opioids), cocaine, amphetamine type stimulants (ATS), sedatives, inhalants and hallucinogens.
Magnitude of Substance use in India
- Of the 16 crore people who consumed alcohol across the country, prevalence of alcohol consumption was 17 times higher among men than among women.
- More than four lakh children and 1.8 million adults needed help for inhalant abuse and dependence.
- The male to female ratio of alcohol users in India is 17:1 and most men consume either ‘desi’ liquor (30 per cent) or Indian Made Foreign Liquor (30 per cent).
- A total of 5.2 per cent of the population indulge in harmful alcohol use, means that every third drinker in the country is in dire need of medical help in curing his/her addiction.
II. Cannabis (Bhang, Ganja & Charas)
- According to the survey, over 3.1 crore Indians (2.8%) reported to have used any cannabis product in last one year.
- Although, the usage of Bhang use is more common than Ganja or Charas but in case of addiction, the number of dependent users is higher for addicts of Ganja and Charas.
- Cannabis consumption is higher than the national average in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
- In Punjab and Sikkim, the prevalence of cannabis use disorders is considerably higher (more than thrice) than the national average.
III. Heroin, Opium & others
- At the national level, Heroin is most commonly used substance followed by pharmaceutical opioids, followed by opium (Afeem).
- However, in case of harmful dependence, more people are dependent on Heroin than other similar drugs like Afeem.
- Of the total 60 lakh users of Heroin and Afeem, majority of them are from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
IV. Sedatives and inhalants
- Less than 1% or nearly 1.18 crore people use sedatives, non medical or non prescription use. However, what is more worrying that its prevalence is high among children and adolescents.
- At national level, there are 4.6 lakh children that need help against the harmful or dependence over inhalants.
- This problem of addiction of children is more prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana.
- Cocaine (0.10%) Amphetamine Type Stimulants (0.18%) and Hallucinogens (0.12%) are the categories with lowest prevalence of current use in the country.
V. Addicts who inject drugs
- According to the survey, there are 8.5 lakh people in the country who inject drugs (PWID).
- Users of opium based drugs report high incidence of injecting drugs (heroin 46% and pharmaceutical opioids 46%), a large number of these drug users report risky injecting practices.
- This risky practice more prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland