The outbreak of substance abuse in the young generation has presumed alarming dimensions in India. Everchanging cultural values, increasing economic stress, and diminishing supportive hands are directing to initiation into substance use. According to the World Health Organization, substance abuse is persistent or sporadic drug use inconsistent with or unrelated to acceptable medical practice. The Ministry has conducted the first National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India through the National Drug
Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi during 2018. As per the report, Alcohol is the most prevalent psychoactive substance used by Indians followed by Cannabis and Opioids. About 16 crores people consume alcohol in the country; more than 5.7 crores are affected by harmful or dependent alcohol use and need help for their alcohol use problems. 3.1 crores of individuals use cannabis products; about 25 lakhs suffer from cannabis dependence. 2.26 crores use opioids; approximately 77 lakhs individuals are needed help for their opioid use problems.
As per the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 2012, different Departments/Ministries have been allocated different roles. While the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the Nodal agency for Drug Demand Reduction, the aspect of supply reduction is looked after by various enforcement agencies under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and State Governments and harm reduction by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The existing schemes for drug de-addiction would be converged with the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) combining efforts of the Government of India, State/UT Governments, implementing agencies like PRIs, NGOs, Trusts, ULBs, Autonomous organizations, Technical Forums, Hospitals, UGC, AICTE, etc. The NAPDDR includes components for preventive education and awareness generation, capacity building, treatment and rehabilitation, setting quality standards, focused intervention in vulnerable areas, skill development, vocational training and livelihood support of ex-drug addicts, State/UT specific interventions, surveys, studies, evaluation, and research, etc.
The objective of this Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 is to focus on (272) most affected districts and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept. The Action Plan will comprise Awareness generation programs, focus on higher educational institutions, University Campuses, and Schools, workplaces, and police functionaries, paramilitary forces, law enforcement agencies, judicial officers, and Bar Council, among others. Community outreach and identification of dependent population, Focus on treatment facilities in hospital settings, and Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.
Intervention programs will aim to reach out to about 4 Lakh Children and Youth for awareness about the ill effects of drug use. Increase community participation and public cooperation, supporting government hospitals for opening up De-addiction Center in addition to existing Ministry supported De-addiction Centers (IRCAs), Conducting a training program for about 10000 participants. Community outreach program includes, Community based Peer-led Intervention for Early Drug Use Prevention among Adolescents (CPLI)- this program targets to achieve that youth would be trained as peer educators to lead peer-led community intervention and implement early prevention education especially for vulnerable adolescents and youth in the community. This program will also provide referrals and contacts to counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation services for drug dependents identified in the community. Outreach and Drop-in Centres (ODIC) would provide a safe and secure drop-in space for drug users in the community. These centres shall have the provision of screening, assessment, and counseling.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment would provide financial assistance for Drug Treatment Clinics for outpatient while for inpatients it will be provided for running and maintenance of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs). At present about 480 IRCAs are supported by the Ministry, majorly operated by NGOs. These IRCAs provide services for the identification of addicts, motivational counseling, detoxification/de-addiction, and Whole Person Recovery, aftercare, and reintegration into the social mainstream. In accordance with the report of the AIIMS, in the future, the scope for treatment and rehabilitation under this scheme would be, Establishing and assisting de-addiction centres in Government Hospitals and Medical Colleges either through NDDTC, AIIMS, New Delhi, or through State Governments, Establishing and assisting de-addiction centres in closed settings such as Prisons and Juvenile Homes and for special groups such as women and children in need for care and protection, etc. through State Government in their Annual Action Plan and Establishing and assisting residential stabilization programs as Model Rehabilitation Centres through State Government in their Annual Action Plan.
Today, there is no place in the world that is free from the curse of drug addiction and trafficking. Millions of people living with substance abuse, all over the world, are leading miserable lives, struggling between life and death. India too is caught in this vicious circle of drug abuse, and the numbers are increasing on a daily basis. Therefore, making it imperative for the government to intervene and curb this issue at the earliest.
● Ahmad, N., Bano, R., Aggarwal, V., & Kalakoti, P. (n.d.). SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN INDIA. Pravara Med Rev 2009; 1(4).
● Department of Social Justice and Empowerment NashaMukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for 272 most affected districts. Retrieved from, https://grants-msje.gov.in/display-drugs-action-plan
● Gov’t Prepares National Action Plan on Drug Abuse Read More At
● WHO. Techn. Res. Ser. No.886: 1999. p. 48.
Also, for detailed information read at,
● SCHEME FOR PREVENTION OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE (DRUGS) ABUSE. Read at
● SCHEME OF NATIONAL ACTION PLAN FOR DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION. Read at https://grants-msje.gov.in/display-napddr-action-plan