Drugs usage in India hitting a new high

The popularity of synthetic or party drugs has increased manifold over the past five years in India but the use of conventional substances such as cocaine, heroin, and hashish has remained static or decreased, government data shows.

In terms of volume, marijuana or ganja remains the most common drug seized at more than 2 lakh kg, according to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which collected the data on drugs seized across India in 2016 by various law-enforcement agencies.

The confiscation of party drugs – amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) such as MDMA or Molly — increased from 40 kg in 2012 to 1,687 kg last year.

Drug enforcement agencies believe Molly is brought to the country from illegal labs and factories in Myanmar.

“There is an increase in abuse of drugs such as MDMA and Meow Meow. Our officials busted several laboratories,” said RR Singh, the NCB deputy director general (operations).

Most cases of ATS seizures were in Gujarat, followed by Andhra Pradesh. Molly tablet promise to give a “happy high” and increase emotionally charged memories for around 12 hours.

NCB officials believe synthetic drugs became popular because of the prohibitive price of cocaine, whose seizure went down from 44kg in 2012 to 28kg last year. Drugs such as hash, opium, morphine are losing popularity as well. But several cocaine cases were busted in 2017, according to NCB deputy director general Singh. “This year, we found that unemployed youth from Venezuela and Bolivia are working as couriers of cocaine. Most cocaine seizures were at airports.”

The number of arrests of peddlers and smugglers under the narcotic drugs psychotropic substances act has increased too — from 13,871 in 2012 to 38,975 last year. “The increase in number of arrests is more because of sensitisation of police officers,” Singh said.

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source: paper.hindustantimes.com

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