[Answered] “Increasing drug menace across northern states in India need strict laws and coordination among various states.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Need of strict laws and state coordination.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Drug abuse is one of the most serious health problems faced by the world today which not only destroys the person involved, but also his family, the society and the nation at large & lead to antisocial behaviour such as stealing, crime and violence. World Health Organisation defines Drug Abuse as the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive drugs, including alcohol and illicit drugs.

Why India need strict laws?

  1. According to a survey by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, India has more than 70 million drug addicts. Different drugs are prevalent in different states of the country. This demand a targeted approach by recognising the most victimised state and pockets. E.g some states need to check cannabis usage while some states need to check heroine being sold online.
  2. Drug abuse as an exclusively urban phenomenon is a myth. Drug abuse is more prevalent in rural areas especially among vulnerable groups like youth, street children, women, prisons, etc. Thus law and policies need to focus on these vulnerable groups and rural areas.
  3. One of the major reasons for drug abuse is glorification in popular media such as television series and films. Quite often doing drugs are romanticised and some fictional positive aspects of the same are shown. Thus a strict law is necessary to stop glorification of drugs by entertainment industry.
  4. Rampant irregularities and torture of inmates are prevalent at de-addiction centres. Inmates are being ill-treated, subjected to sexual and physical torture. There are also unauthorised and illegally run centres. This hinder rehabilitation efforts. Strong laws and frequent inspections are necessary to stop such practices. Government must notify minimum standards for running de-addiction centres.
  5. Also existing guidelines are sketchy. They do not elaborate administrative, clinical or human rights standards in managing drug dependence. It has produced greater confusions such as what constitutes treatment, who should deliver it and how.
  6. Further reforms are needed in national drug control strategies, policies, laws and other important matters such as inclusion of all the stake holders in this matter. It is very important for the country to come up with a broad-based legislation/policy related to use of narcotic drugs and psychoactive substances.

Why coordination among state is important?

  1. Proximity to the largest producers of heroin, the Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia) and Golden Crescent (Afghanistan – Pakistan & Iran) is one of the main reasons for drug trafficking in India. Additionally, Nepal is a also a traditional source of cannabis. This demand for coordination between different states bordering these countries to tackle drug menace.
  2. India is both a destination and a transit route for drug traffickers. Thus state coordination is important to check the transit routes. These demand joint operations at inter-state borders, information sharing on drugs and drug dealers.
  3. There is need of all states to share experiences and best practices in their respective campaigns. A closer collaboration is required to make the region ‘drug free’.

Article 47 of the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution of India directs state to improve public health & endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption of intoxicating drinks & drugs which are injurious to health. What India need is better regulations and laws with state coordination to stop drug menace. A national policy focusing on these aspects should be formulated.