The Indian Drug Problem In India

1492 Words6 Pages
Time to move from ‘Criminals’ to ‘Patients’
What is the Indian Drug Problem?
India, with a drug dependent population of 3 million people (UNODC), is one of the many countries waging the so called war against drugs that has had grave consequences in the form of a number of human rights violations, an ineffective and resource draining stress on the public funds, health issues for addicts, overcrowded prisons with drug users and so on.
The Government of India needs to address these issues in a whole new light as the existing policies have completely failed to address the issue at its core and has, instead, resulted in further adverse consequences. The need of the hour is to look at our drug policies and bring forth the necessary changes in the form of phased solutions by firstly depenalizing small amounts of drug possession and use, secondly, diverting drug users from the criminal justice system to a health based system and lastly, by legally regulating the existing illicit drug market. These solutions are not exclusive of each other, but are rather complementary. We advocate for removing penal sanctions on drug use under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) and instead treat these and other related offences as health system based problems rather than criminal justice based ones.

What Is The Urgency Of The Problem?
It can be said without any doubt, that for every year that we continue with the current approach, billions of dollars are wasted on ineffective programs, where millions of citizens are sent to prison unnecessarily, even more suffer from the drug dependence of loved ones who cannot access health and social care services, and many more die from easily preventable overdoses and diseases con...

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...stopping the war on drugs.

What Is The Way Forward?
The underlying principle behind these steps is simple. If the users will get cheap drugs from the state, they will not need to resort to criminal activities. Also, the drug dealers will lose out on their consumer base as the users will no more buy their high priced and possibly adulterated drugs. The net effect of all this will result in diversion of funds spent on law and enforcement of failed policies to better practices such as treatment and education of users.
The war on drugs has now gone on for decades but has not shown any signs of doing away with the evils of drug use and abuse. All it has done is harm the real victims- the people dependent on drugs. Thus, it is now highly essential that all the options are kept on the table and a new strategy is devised by our country to end this unending war on drugs.
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