India suffers from rising abuse of prescription drugs

Last drugs abuse survey was made in 2001

GN Bureau | June 26, 2010




New drugs enter the market every new day and make their way to new markets mainly in developing countries, says a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Lax regulations, populations in economic transition let drug abuse flourish in such countries.

“The global number of people using amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) – estimated at around 30-40 million – is soon likely to exceed the number of opiate and cocaine users combined,” said the World Drug report 2010.

India is no different from other developing nations, said Cristina Albertin, representative of the UNODC, South Asia at the release of report in New Delhi. “There is increased number of abuse of pharmaceuticals drugs which is easily available in any medicine stores for non-medical purpose,” added Albertin. However, she said there is no data available on how many numbers are using such drugs.

The government of India, however, clarified that no drugs abuse survey has been done in the last nine years. “The last drug abuse survey was done in 2001 and after that no national survey has been conducted. Now the pilot survey is on, which will be followed by national survey. So the exact number of people using pharmaceuticals would only be known after that,” Ish Kumar, deputy director general of the Narcotics control bureau, ministry of home affairs told Governance Now.

The report also mentioned that there is growing number of people who have been misusing the prescription drugs, such as synthetic opioids, benzodiazepines or synthetic prescription stimulants.

Users are experimenting with legal pharmaceutical drugs, which is a matter of great concern to us, said Lungmuana.

The report highlighted that manufacturers are quick to market new products (Ketamine, piperazines, Mephedrone and Spice). The report noted that the number of secret laboratories producing drugs like amphetamine and ecstasy increased 20 percent in 2008. According to report “Manufacture of ecstasy has increased in North America and in several parts of Aisa, and use seems to be increasing in Asia.”

Overall, 3.5-5.7 percent of the global population aged 15-64 used an illicit drug at least once in 2008, the report mentioned. However, the report cited that the world’s supply of the two main problem drugs – opiates and cocaine (12-18 percent) – keeps declining. It said, “Global potential heroin production fell by 13 percent to 657 tons in 2009 due to lower production in Afghanistan and Myanmar.”
“Afghanistan produces 89 percent of the world's opium from which heroin is produced,” the report further added “Around 40 percent of Afghan heroin/morphine is trafficked through Pakistan”.

The Vienna-based agency warned that drugs trafficking can threaten the security, and even the sovereignty of states. The UNODC also demanded from countries around the world to ensure drugs treatment adding ‘there is a serious lack of drug treatment facilities around the world.’

The report was released two-day ahead of June 26, as the world observes International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Read the report

Comments

 

Other News

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Carbon neutrality: distant dream or a possible future?

While many countries have been chasing to reach the carbon neutral status, only a few seem to be living up to their pledges as of now. The famous ’Paris Agreement’ of 2015 was glorified and celebrated that finally 196 countries have united with an intent to mitigate and reduce the greenhouse ga

Agnipath: benefits and challenges on the path ahead

The government this week announced the Tour of Duty or `Agnipath` scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces. Under this scheme new soldiers will be recruited only for four years. This radical and far-reaching scheme has attracted mixed reactions from various quarters. While some officials

Connecting credit card with UPI: What it means for you

UPI has become an integral part of our daily lives now. We use it to buy groceries, we use it to send money to friends and family, we use it to purchase tickets, book shows, pay the cab driver, and a whole host of other things due to the ease and availability of such a platform at our fingertips. The best

Gandhi’s letters to his youngest son also hold his aspirations for nation

Scorching Love: Letters from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to his son, Devadas By Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Tridip Suhrud Oxford University Press, 528 page, Rs 1495 Gandhi’s era happened to be an era when letter-writing was a primary mode of communica

‘In Mumbai, society, police forces triumphed over Covid-19’

Crediting the citizens of Mumbai for coming forward to help the police in combating the crisis situation due to Covid-19, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey has said that Mumbai Police lost quite a few policemen during the pandemic but cumulative efforts, with citizens working hand in hand with the p

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter