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Stats IQ: Drug Abuse in India

Context: The UT of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing increasing cases of drug abuse, leading to rise in crimes.

States with highest cases of drug abuse

  • Highest percentages of rural drug abusers were in Goa (78.0%) and Punjab (77.5%).
  • Highest number of urban drug abusers were reported in Mizoram (91.0%) and Meghalaya (90.7%).

Extent of drug abuse

  • About 2.1% of the India’s population uses opioids, heroin, and pharmaceutical opioids.
  • About 2.8% of Indians between the age of 10 and 75 years were consumers of cannabis in form of bhang, ganja and charas.
  • Around 15.8 million children aged between 10 and 17 years are addicted to substances in India.

Prevalence of illegal drugs

  • Cannabis, heroin and opium are the most commonly used drugs in India. There is an increase in methamphetamine users too.
  • Cannabis: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim and Chhattisgarh have the highest prevalence of cannabis use.
  • Heroin: Highest number of heroin abusers were found in Uttar Pradesh (17.3%), followed by Delhi (16.3%), West Bengal (15.0%), Manipur (10.1%) and Bihar (10.0%).
  • Opioids: The most frequently used opioid is Heroin, (1.14%) followed by Pharmaceutical opioids (0.96%) and then Opium (0.52%).
  • More than half of opioid users are located in states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • In terms of population percentage, Mizoram, Nagaland (6.5 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (5.7 per cent) and Sikkim (5.1 per cent) have the highest opioid users.
  • Sedatives and inhalants: About 1.08% of 10-75 year old Indians currently use sedatives (non-medical, non-prescription use).
  • Top states in terms of sedative use are Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • Low prevalence: Cocaine (0.10%) Amphetamine Type Stimulants (0.18%) and Hallucinogens (0.12%) have low prevalence in India.

Source of drugs in India

  • Opiate trafficking in India takes place from Central Asia/Transcaucasia, through Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan.
  • India is one of the main countries in which heroin was trafficked between 2014 and 2018 along with Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and several African countries.

Effects of drug abuse

  • Health effects of substance abuse include drug use disorders, mental health disorders, HIV infection, hepatitis-related liver cancer and cirrhosis, overdose and premature death.

Key measures to tackle drug abuse

  • Nasha Mukt Bharat campaign to tackle drug abuse through institutional as well as community support.
  • ‘Say No to Drugs’ publicity campaigns across schools and other educational institutes.
  • Setting up of de-addiction facilities in districts with high prevalence of drug use.

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which States with highest cases of drug abuse?

Highest percentages of rural drug abusers were in Goa (78.0%) and Punjab (77.5%). Highest number of urban drug abusers were reported in Mizoram (91.0%) and Meghalaya (90.7%).

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