India’s drug chase could be on the wrong trail

What is the News?

Data shows that India is struggling more with opioid problems rather than cannabis.

What is the status of drug consumption in India?

Data: India’s National Crime Records Bureau has data on the number of drugs seized every year under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The data shows that over 60% of the total quantity of seized drugs in 2020 were cannabis-based.


Cases: NCRB data show that for the last few years India has recorded more cases for personal drug use than murder. Even, cases registered for drug trafficking are fewer.

What are the controversies surrounding the NCRB data?

According to research by Vidhi Centre For Legal Policy, it was found that the poor are forced to make false confessions and plead guilty for quick convictions.

An analysis of the 2020 numbers shows that the NDPS conviction rate is 81.6% overall and 86.7% for personal drug consumption cases. This drops to 44.1% for murder cases and 39.2% in cases related to crimes against women.

What is the Indian drug consumption status when compared globally?

According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s report  Magnitude of Substance Use in India 2019,’ India’s cannabis use is lower than the global average.

The report suggested India’s bigger problem is opioids, which cover opium, heroin and pharmaceutical opioids. Prevalence of their use in India is higher than in the rest of the world

Source: This post is based on the article “BS Number Wise: India’s drug chase could be on the wrong trail” published in the Business Standard On 23rd November 2021.

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