· Introduction: The business of drugs is already known and recognized as a global problem which requires a global solution. In the beginning of the 20th century, the first international conference on narcotic drugs was held in Shanghai in the year 1909. Later, a multilateral system was introduced to control and regulate production, trafficking and abuse of drugs. Later that in the United Nations, 3 drug control conventions were also adopted in 1961, 1971 and 1988. Since then, there is a universal adherence for that.
· This year’s Theme: Theme for this year is “Health for Justice. Justice for Health”. The theme of this year highlights that justice and health are just two sides of the same coin when we address the problem of drugs.
· Drug abuse in India: Over the last few decades, the consumption of drugs has become one of the most severe problems which is affecting the children and youth of the country. In a report titled “Magnitude of Substance Use in India”, it was found that –
(i). “At the national level, about 14.6 percent of the people (approximately 16 crore people) between the ages of 10 and 75 are current users of alcohol.
(ii). About 2.8 percent of Indians (3.1 crore people) have reported using any cannabis product within the past 12 months.
(iii). Around 2.06 percent of the people reported using opioids at the time of the survey. About 0.55 percent of Indians are estimated to need help for their opioid use problems.
(iv). Nationally, it is estimated that there are about 8.5 lakh people who inject drugs (PWID).”
· Initiatives taken by India: To remove this problem of drug abuse and addiction, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) gives both outpatient treatment and in-patient services. It also provides for specialised clinics that are made for specific problems of substance abuse like tobacco suspension clinics etc. NDDTC provides treatment to approx. 400 patients in a single day. The main centre provides services to 200 patients and the rest 200 get services at the community outreach units present across Delhi.
· Future Plans: The centre is planning to introduce new services which will include exclusive wards for children and women. With this positive development, the lack of exclusive treatment for women will be resolved.
· Other initiatives by NDDTC: It has also initiated a new service which is knows as mobile methadone dispensing van, that gives treatment to ‘opioid addicts’ in the East Delhi area.
· Union government: It has taken initiatives by giving a multitude of programmes under appropriate ministries to deal with this problem. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has prepared a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for the years 2018-25.
· Aim of the National Action Plan: Its aim is to “reduce the adverse consequences of drug abuse and addiction by creating awareness, educating people about the ill-effects of drug use, and developing human resources to work towards these objectives”.
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