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21st August 2023 (9 Topics)

Narco epidemic among students may mar India story, nation needs war on drugs

Context:

The Prime Minister has often mentioned that one of the biggest secrets behind India’s spectacular and widely acknowledged rise is the nation’s young demography. But there is a silent predator which could sink the India’s story i.e. the growing drug culture.

The drug menace amongst Youth

  • Readily available drugs: The increasing drug threat among youth is characterized by the widespread availability of substances ranging from marijuana to potent opioids.
  • Seen amongst youngsters and teenagers: The menace is particularly alarming as it targets children as young as 14, with dealers operating around schools and colleges, ensuring easy access.
  • Lack of scrutiny: Dangerous party drugs like methamphetamine and are readily accessible, even though recent seizures suggest a grim scenario of manufacturing and distribution, endangering the youth across the nation.

Forms of addictives consumed

  • Methamphetamine-one of major drug consumed: The escalating drug menace, particularly methamphetamine, poses severe risks to Indian society, with widespread availability and ease of access.
  • Alarming cities: Major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi-NCR face alarming drug proliferation, targeting youth through schools, nightlife, and paan shops.
  • Increasing addiction cases: The crisis extends to Kashmir, indicating a challenge greater than militancy, with a surge in addiction cases. Urgent, coordinated action is essential for prevention.

Steps can be taken

  • Strengthen drug laws: Like Singapore, India should also make strict laws with stringent penalties, including exemplary punishment, as proposed under the new Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita.
  • Special Bodies made: Establish joint task forces of Narcotics Control Bureau and local police to dismantle drug cartels, targeting all levels of operation.
  • Conducting Campaigns and awareness: Launch awareness campaigns with celebrity involvement, backed by a helpline for anonymous reporting, to curb drug proliferation.
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