A survey conducted by Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS discovered that Delhi is one of the states with the highest number of drug users with numbers going over six lakhs. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of drug abusers with 8.7 lakhs, Punjab has 6.4 lakh people and Haryana is third with 5.2 lakh drug abusers.
The survey was conducted among subjects between the ages 10 and 78 over a period of 10 months between December 2017 and October 2018.
According to a Times of India report, the survey said that in Delhi, there are 3.2 lakh opioid users, 3.1 lakh cannabis users, 86,000 people who inject drugs into their systems and 38,000 children dependent on inhalants. Among opioids, heroin is the most popular drug of choice.
The study went on to say that there are over 60 lakh opioid users across the country. When it comes with the percentage of people affected, the north-east region of the country takes the top place along with Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
Data regarding Cannabis users
For cannabis, Uttar Pradesh has 28 lakh users, placing it at the top. Punjab is at the second place with 5.7 lakh users and Odisha has 4.9 lakh. Delhi comes eighth with 3.1 lakh.
Due to the alarming numbers, the social justice ministry will hold a meeting with the Union health ministry and state governments to figure out an action plan to curb the drug menace.
How do pharmaceutical drugs come into play?
The survey also addressed the dependence on pharmaceutical drugs which have medicinal purposes so cannot be banned. Due to the drugs being in the non-prescription category, the access to it is also easier. 1.1 per cent of Indians or 1.2 crore people abuse the use of pharmaceutical drugs which serve as sedatives. However, those who are completely dependent on them are very few. The survey states that there are a total of 11.8 lakh people across the country who abuse the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Karnataka sees a massive drop in drug related arrests
The Karnataka police has said that there has been a massive drop in the number of drug abuse cases which require arrests in the state in 2018. The dip is said to be 90 per cent and this raised doubts regarding the data submitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, the reason for this decline is because the police only take on the bigger cases.
"Since we only look at big cases, our annual average is about 20 cases, and this time we have reported 26," an official at the Narcotics Control Bureau was quoted as saying by TOI.
"There has been a sharp decline in the number of cases because of a multi-pronged approach employed by police. We've been actively cracking down on drug peddlers across the state, especially in the past year, after the problem of drug abuse was raised multiple times in the assembly," Kamal Pant, ADGP (law and order) said.