Ministry Recommends Use of National Fund for De-Addiction

Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has recommended the use of National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse in carrying out de-addiction programme as well. Under the present regime, this National fund is being used by the ministry in carrying out policing activities.

This recommendation has come up in such a time, where this issue of drug abuse is already being highlighted by the media when Narcotics Control Bureau recently arrested Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan for allegedly possessing prohibited drugs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

India Lies Between Golden Crescent And Golden Triangle, Two Major Drugs Producing Regions
India lies between Golden crescent and Golden Triangle, two major drugs producing regions

Secretary for Department of Social Justice and Empowerment Mr R. Subrahmanyam said that this National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse has been created as per the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 had a corpus of Rs 23 crore which is aimed to be spend upon carrying out several policing programmes.

He also revealed that there is also a proposal for decriminalising possession of drugs in small quantities in the present legislation. As per this proposal, the person who is found with drugs in possession under the small quantities, would be sent to deaddiction and rehabilitation centres instead of being prosecuted and sent to jail.

World Drug Report 2021

  1. Around 275 million people used drugs globally in the last year. Over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders.
  2. Rise in the use of cannabis during the pandemic has been reported by most countries.
  3. Non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs has also been observed in the same period.
  4. The latest global estimates say, about 5.5 per cent of the population between 15 – 64 years have used drugs at least once in the past years.
  5. Over 11 million people globally are estimated to inject drugs – half of them have Hepatitis C.
  6. Opioids continue to account for the largest burden of disease-linked to drug abuse.

Initiatives by the Government

  • The ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ has been initiated to address the issue of drug abuse in the country by spreading awareness. Under this scheme, 272 high burden districts were selected where almost 8000 youth volunteers were given the task of going door to door and campaigning against substance abuse.

This scheme has the following pillars of framework:

  • Awareness generation programmes
  • Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools
  • Community outreach and identification of dependent population
  • Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings
  • Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider
  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has begun implementation of a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018- 2025.
  • As per the recent National Comprehensive Survey which was conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, it was found that there are more than 60 million drug users in the country out of which a large number of users belong to the vulnerable age group of 10-17 years.
  • Narco-Coordination Centre (NCORD) has been established by Ministry of Home Affairs in the year 2016 for coordination among various Central and State Agencies.  Under this mechanism, regular meetings have been conducted with these agencies for effective Drug Law Enforcement. Later on, in the 2019, this NCORD system was restructured by Ministry of Home Affairs into 4 tiers up to district level for better coordination and cooperation.