Search This Blog

Drug-Abuse Related Suicides Snuffing Out India’s Future

PM Narendra Modi Flags Off 'Run for Unity' From Delhi's Vijay Chowk
Next time over when Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks out his 'Mann Ki Baat' on All India Radio, drug-abuse is certainly the one topic that's on everybody's mind. When he lays open his mind on his thoughts relating to drug abuse that seems to be affecting the nation's future, the Prime Minister will surely strike a chord with scores of parents and youth whose lives have been disrupted by drugs.

One look at the data relating to drugs, it becomes evident that the issue needs to be addressed in mainstream and not as a rehabilitating solution. Because, when drugs and narcotics enter the life of a youth, they not only ruin the life of one person but the entire family connected to that one life.

Today, drugs seem to be surpassing all other reasons, which can lead to snuffing any chances of a fruitful future out of precious lives that could build a strong nation. Whether it is states like North East, or Punjab or terror-stricken Kashmir, drugs today account to more suicides than lives lost owing to social menaces like dowry, poverty, or deaths relating to economic reasons.

Every day, India loses seven young lives - mostly men - owing to their addiction to narcotics. In the last decade or so, about a quarter of lakh people ended their lives owing to drug abuse in various parts of the country. Annually about 2,452 youths put an end to their lives owing to drugs.

The number of suicides that have occurred with the definite cause of drug abuse has been on a steady rise. The curve is much sharper than ever before. From 2004 to 2013, the numbers of deaths relating to drug abuse have simply risen by 149%!

According to the data put together by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the country has about 3.4 million victims of drug abuse. And, this is restricted to legally banned drugs since alcoholics cannot be brought under its ambit. But, if one considers alcohol also as a drug since it involves the necessary quality of addiction which qualifies to be a drug, the number will increase by an additional 11 million people in India.

Though there are about 3.4 million drug users in India, the rehabilitation efforts have remained dismal with country having just 401 functional rehabilitation centres that function on a daily basis.

Blame it on the lack of facilities, or lack of conviction on part of the drug abusers, only 0.3 million people out of the total number of drug abusers have registered themselves at any de-addiction centre in various states in the country.
Most of them are from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa-with least mention of Punjab, Kashmir and North Eastern states-which have been sounding a warning bell since long, with more and more youths coming under the influence of drugs. Just Manipur makes it to the list here.
When calculated in the 'per capita' category, most of the northeastern states easily make it to the list as the top states staring at bleak future as far as increased drug addiction is concerned. India is sandwiched between two infamous drug routes such as 'Golden Crescent' and 'Golden Triangle' in the Northeast where drugs make for a hassle-free transaction.

Increased entry of drugs into Indian markets is another area of grave concern for the authorities as in the last four years alone, about a 100 million kilogram of drugs has been seized at different locations across the country. And, Punjab which was once known as the wheat bowl of India, today ranks second only to Mizoram!

India has been taking pride in the fact that by the end of this decade, the country may well have highest number of youths, with the country donning a bright-and-youthful look armed with highly-educated human resources making it a vibrant economy with such valuable human resources.
But with steady increase in the statistics of drug abusers which mainly comprise of youth who would be the face of the country taking it to higher levels with industrious achievements, drugs pose a major threat to any dreams India may nurse about standing tall as a country that marches towards focused development areas.