A group of ministers, led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will review the first-of-its-kind national policy on curbing the menace of drug abuse and trafficking in the country. The policy, which was redrafted by the Social Justice Ministry, aims at efforts to reduce drugs to address the problem, including misuse and dependence, to create awareness about ill-effects on the individual, family, workplace and the society at large.
The proposal is to focus on demand and supply aspects of the drugs to solve this problem.
According to sources, the Prime Minister’s office has asked the Social Justice ministry to place its Cabinet note on drug demand reduction before the group of Ministers chaired by Union Home minister.
The policy talks about two type of addictive substances– the illicit drugs including cannabis, heroin and opium and the other, pharmaceutical preparations like tranquilisers and inhalants.
It emphasises on strengthening coordination among various regulatory agencies concerned to check the diversion of substances from lawful channels to illicit networks.
The objective is to ensure that stigmatisation of and discrimination against, groups and individuals dependent on drugs is actively discouraged in order to integrate them back into the society.
India has a close proximity to two major opium cultivating area–The Golden Crescent countries (Iran-Afghanistan- Pakistan) and the Golden Triangle countries (Myanmar-Laos- Thailand), which makes it a region of transit as well as destination for illicit drugs.
According to government data, it is estimated that there were approximately 8.7 million cannabis users and 2 million opium users in India in 2001.