Drug addiction is a high concern for every country, it creates such an atmosphere that if specific measures are not taken can cause grievous harm to the nation. In our country the government has laid down specific statutes to free up people from such addictions. Drugs now a day are consumed at a high rate, the rate of consumption of drugs has caused devastating consequences, causing grievous harm to the public and several human health hazards. Persistent consumption of drugs causes severe damage to the mental and physical health of an individual. Despite numerous measures taken by the government through various programs and schemes still the reduction in the consumption of drugs hasn’t gone down by a significant number. Even after the formulation of laws and amendments aimed at significant reduction in the consumption of drugs by the people, there isn’t any statistic which depicts the desired result. The author through this research paper seeks to list out a few but effective reforms which can be used to reduce the sale and consumption of drugs in India. The research paper will initially describe the problem of drugs, and what constitutes drugs, further elaborating the limits of consumption and the consequences of off limit consumption. The paper will further throw some light on the legal system in India for the control of drug consumption and its achievements in the subsequent years, which would further include the drawbacks and hindrances which the system had to face and the reforms it had bring out to tackle those lacunas. In the next part the author conducts a comparative study between India and other countries to bring out the various alternative methods which can be adopted for more effective reduction of substance abuse. Finally, the paper would conclude by listing out the most effective and practical ways at controlling substance abuse and other reforms which are desperately needed to curb this social evil which has plagued our society for decades.
Addiction may be referred to psychological dependencies, such as those to gambling, sex and work. The most commonly addressed form of addiction is substance abuse. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the reward structure of the brain. It is caused by neurochemical reactions that are prompted by the introduction of certain substances and behaviors. Addiction impairs a person’s judgment, physiological independence and emotional well-being. Overcoming addiction requires therapeutic intervention and ongoing support from an addiction specialist.
Habits are occasionally mistaken for addiction, but there is a key difference. While often second-nature, habits are self-controlled and done by choice. Breaking a habit takes time, but is not associated with the same psychological and neurological changes as addiction.
Drug addiction is a state when you start taking illegal substances in such a way that you can’t stop. Drug addiction hits people irrespective of their sex, category or age group and even sometimes its passive effect also cause grave damage to the health and society. It is a stage which attracts the individual for the continuous consumption of illicit substances even when it causes financial, emotional, and other problems for you and your loved ones. The craving for drugs can consume every minute of your valuable time. It is the nature of the brain to insist you to repeat experiences that made you feel good, so you’re motivated to do them again and again.
The drugs that may be addictive target your brains reward system. They flood your brain with a chemical called dopamine. This triggers a feeling of intense pleasure so you keep taking the drugs to chase the high.
Over time your brain gets used to the extra dopamine. So, you might need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling, providing more pleasure and satisfaction than that you enjoyed, like food and hanging out with family. Hence this research paper will deal with drug addiction and the need of change.
Research Methodology is systematic approach and methods of study concerning forobtaining new knowledge and generalization and the formulation of theories. To consider the dimension of drug policy reform in India, the paper draws on primary and secondary sources such as existing studies, media reports, official documents, parliamentary debates and interviews with stakeholders and policy analysts from Uruguay and elsewhere.
Nature of Study
Non-empirical research work has been used in this project as the material in this projectmainly consists of the work of people which is already done. The project is basically, doctrinal in nature. Citations are also provided wherever they were necessary
Sources of Data
This Project is made on the basis of secondary sources of information, which include:
1) Books, and
2) Information from the internet.
Description of the Research Issue
This research paper deals with the issue of understanding the drugs and the illicit substances that are commonly consumed by people at large and their effects on the people and the society. Further this research paper focuses on some of the beneficial aspects of the drugs and their harmful effects too. This research paper further describes about the laws which are currently present implemented in India, further describing about the flaws which are present in the laws. After that the paper will deal with a comparative analysis that why other countries have a smaller number of drug addict people and why does India have a greater number of drug registered cases under the NDPS Act. This research tries to bring some suggestions to reduce the problem of drug addiction and crimes related to drugs. In a developing nation like India drug addiction could be a hurdle in its development. Hence it is necessary to resolve this social evil. Some steps could be taken and some measures which the other countries have taken can be implemented to resolve it. Drug addiction has causeda lot of destruction to the society, ranging from immoral behaviors to smuggling, illegal trafficking and many. Hence there is a need to fulfill the gaps which are causing unrest and balance through providing drugs to the individuals.
Types of Drugs and their Effects
As cocaine is considered as a stimulant drug it has the capacity to reduce the fatigue and increase alertness. It targets central nervous system by boosting the brain specially “Dopamine” which is referred to as “Feel good” chemical and people intake cocaine in high amount to attain greater amount of “High” and this results in heavy amount of addiction. Cocaine causes a high sense of overconfidence exaggerated amount of enthusiasm. These are some of the reasons why people prefer cocaine and due to some of these reasons it is even legal in some countries where as it is circulated in other countries through illegal means like in India. Cocaine has been investigated to cause cerebrum harm, particularly when it is manhandled.
Cannabis (marijuana, grass, dope, pot, puff, weed)
A greenish- grey mixture called by various names Weed, herb, pot, grass, formed from the dried flowers of cannabis sativa. The chemical present in the plant and which affects human being isdelta-9-tetrahydrocannabnol (THC). The minimum amount of THC required to have a perceptible psychoactive effect is about 10 micrograms per kilograms. Cannabis is not a new drug it has been used by people earlier also, but in the 20th century the consumption of cannabis has been increased at a high rate for recreational religious or spiritual and medicinal purposes.
Under current federal laws, cannabis and anything derived from the plants (including CBD) is considered as class 1drug.Cannabis hold a lot of merits that’s why in many countries marijuana is even legalized and people freely consume it, marijuana leads to dependence in around 9-10 percent of adult users. Cocaine hooks about 20 percent of its users, and heroine gets 25 percent of its users addicted, the worst culprit is tobacco, with 30 percent of its users being addicted. Marijuana is very helpful in providing deep and comfortable sleep. They are very helpful in curing insomnia. Discovery health articles have confirmed that marijuana has been extremely successful in relieving nausea, which is extremely good for cancer patient. It is the least attractive drug, many celebrities and even many successful businessmen have openly accepted that they have consumed marijuana.
Over doses of marijuana is highly addictive for some people. This has been proved and argumentized by various researchers and doctors. Dr. Drew who has been working with addicts for decades has shown through his researches that marijuana is addictive. Sometimes you might receive drug from someone who may have put other drugs into it as well and you would be unaware that you were putting at eve more risk, consumption of different drugs can cause effect you can’t even imagine. Marijuana causes immediate effect causing red eyes, slowed reaction, increasing hunger, anxiety, lung cancer, diminishing memory, moreover it causes heavy financial burden too. Hence marijuana provides a gateway for other drug consumption in at younger age.
Heroin (scag, smack, gear)
Heroin usually comes as an off white or brown powder. Heroine is obtained from the opium poppy plant. Due to its speed and intense effect it is very harmful in nature. As people continuous consume heroin initially it is pleasurable but then its impact moves toward becoming dominated by various undesirable symptoms of the substance. Regularly, this happens in light of the fact that the body adjusts to the heroin in the framework and makes a move to offset the impacts. It holds the same affective way as of other drugs i.e. it too affects nerve cell and prompts to release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is a special molecule. It’s essentially for generating feelings. At the initial it causes feeling of being warm and flushed during the rush, it reduces the feeling of pain, causes lethargy as with time when its dependence increases it causes more severe consequences such as nausea, dry mouth, light sensitivity, slow heartrate, slow respiration and when people get heavily addicted it causes severe constipation, gum swelling decreased in dental health weakness, poor appetite and malnutrition decrease in sexual performance. A portion of the biggest dangers of long haul heroin utilize are the potential for irreversible effect to the liver or kidneys from harm or irresistible infections.
It is referred as a state of extreme happiness, especially when u feel pleased. But here Ecstasy is referred as a powerful drug that makes you very active and can cause you to hallucinate. Ecstasy is a psychoactive stimulant. It is generally appropriated as a tablet or pill yet can likewise be a powder or case. The tablets can be in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Over the most recent decade or something like that, happiness utilize has advanced into the standard culture in specific nations. More youthful individuals specifically frequently appear to have a skewed feeling of security about euphoria utilize, accepting rather wrongly that the substance is sheltered and amiable. It heightens user empathy levels and induces a feeling of closeness to people around them, it is often used at “rave parties” to increase participation, sociality and energy levels. It reduces distress signal such as dehydration, dizziness and exhaustion. But ecstasy has high capacity to damage internal organs such as liver and the kidney, sometimes it leads to heart failure too. Long term ecstasy use can damage certain brain region, resulting in serious depression and memory loss. The effect of the drug increases when it is taken with any illegal medication, taking ecstasy additionally mists the client’s judgment and expands the possibility of him or her settling on awful decisions, for example, having unprotected sex.Along these lines, the client dangers contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and different irresistible illnesses as well.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is a hallucinogenic drug. It alters feeling through surrounding and creates imaginary awareness. Its effect begins with half an hour and can last for up to 12 hours. LSD was once used in psychotherapy, but currently it has no medical use. LSD can have different effect depending upon the amount of LSD taken and the person’s mood and personality, surrounding too plays an important role. Having LSD cause dilated pupils, fluctuating body temperature, it causes sever loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth and tremors are common. Sometimes some people never recover from acid induced psychosis. Large enough doses cause visual hallucination it changes the sense of time and self-control. Even one’s sense of touch and the normal bodily sensation turns into something strange and bizarre. Many LSD users experience flashback and bad trip is very common. By repeated use the user develops tolerance towards the drug and takes high doses for better pleasurable feeling.
Impact and Implementations
Indian has an ancient root of drug consumption. The consumption of drugs like opium, cannabis, liquor is nothing new to the Indian culture. The traces of drug consumption can be gathered if we look at the history, even some tradition also mention illicit substance as its necessary part. If we look at cannabis it has been consumed for spiritual, medical and recreational purposes. After colonization the Britishers saw opium consumption as a means to generate revenue and imposed tax on the sale of hemp. The British gained total control over the manufacture and cultivation of poppy through the Opium Act of 1857 and 1878. But finally, after independence the government started restricting the consumption of opium and in 1930, the dangerous drug act was enacted and sought to extent and strengthen control over drug derived from coca, hemp(cannabis) and poppy plant by regulating the cultivation, possession, manufacture, sale, domestic trade and external transmission through license and penalizing unlicensed activities. This position proceeded with post-autonomy. With the reception of the Indian Constitution in 1950, all laws ended up subordinate to sacred arrangements, specifically, basic rights. Courts depended, in addition to other things, on India’s worldwide medication control responsibilities to legitimize the confinements on development, utilize and exchange.Currently India is governed by 2 major drug laws, Narcotics Drug and psychotropic substance Act (1985) and Prevention of illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic substance Act (1985).
Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act (1985)
This act came into force in the whole of India on November 14, 1985. It elaborates that the central government shall take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of preventing and combating abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance and the illicit traffic there in and identification, treatment, education, after care, rehabilitation and social re-integration of addicts in Section 4 and 4 (d). Section 9 lays down that government exercises full control over permit control and regulation of any cultivation or gathering or any portion of gathering of the coca plant or its substitutes. The Act provides that no person shall cultivate, produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, warehouse, use, consume, import, export, any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. The act provides quantity-based punishment i.e. the sentence and fine varies significantly on the basis of quantity found.
Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act (1988)
This act provides for the detention in certain cases for the purpose of prevention of trafficking of narcotics and illicit substance and for any other matter connected there with. Consumption of illicit substance cause a sever harm to the health and the government is taking steps to curb this problem save the citizens from such harms. The best way in which this problem could be solved is if the drugs or illicit substances are prevented from reaching to the individual. Hence this Act authorizes central government and the state government or any other person authorized by them or any person having such authority provided by them as per stated in this Act, to make an order directing that such person, if he is satisfied, is indulged in illicit trafficking of narcotics or any such psychotropic substance, and is necessary to detain him to prevent him from doing such act of trafficking.
Need of Reform in the Indian Drug Laws
To understand the reforms which are essential to be brought in the Indian drug laws it is essential to understand why there is a need of reform. We need reform in the drug laws in India because the country is currently a home of approximately 3 million drug addicts. The National Crime Records Bureau’s information, as distributed in 2014, revealed that India witnesses about 10 suicides once a day because of substance compulsion. As per the research data available out off 34668 cases registered 14654 in 2013 were from Punjab. If we look through the provisions of this act, it specifies about various punishments and measures which the government is authorized to take with respect to rehab or curative measures. Further this act was amended 3 times earlier i.e. in 1989 and 2001 the recent amendment was in the year 2014, the recent amendment made a clear that death penalty, which was earlier a punishment granted as per the evidences and circumstances in which the convict was found but now it has been places under the discretion of the court and its discretion only further adding that 30 years of imprisonment could be granted as its substitute. Following ratifications are in a need to be applied in the laws of the narcotics and drugs in India:
- Section 27 of the NDPS Act specifies about punishment for consumption of any drug or psychotropic substance, it makes provisions that individuals should be imprisoned for consumption of any illicit substance or any psychotropic substance as may be specified by the government in the official gazette, imprisonment for a term which may be extended for a term which may be extended to 1 year. This section should be removed from the Act as imprisonment is in no way a step towards drug free society. Imprisonment does not solve the problem of drug addiction, instead it creates a room for the getting in contact with more serious offenders and more serious crimes. Building on these points several countries have moved towards full decriminalization of use and possession of drugs, and there have been a significant change in the countries ratio of petty crimes. In India there is a considerable number of people addicted to drugs and conviction reduces their opportunity to come back in the society, because despite getting changed the society would still see him as a convicted individual and with a lot of humiliations.
- Section 50 of NDPS Act states the conditions under which search of a person shall be conducted that states that “When any officer duly authorized under section 42 is about to search any person under the provisions of section 41, section 42 or section 43, he shall, if such person so requires, take such person without unnecessary delay to the nearest Gazetted Officer of any of the departments mentioned in section 42 or to the nearest Magistrate.
If such requisition is made, the officer may detain the person until he can bring him before the Gazetted Officer or the Magistrate referred to in sub-section”
This section provides that suspect has a legal right to be informed by the officer carrying out the search to be taken to the nearest if he wishes to be searched in front of him, and such information must be clear and not ambiguous or incomplete. In a number of cases the courts have dismissed the ceases narcotics on the ground that such search was invalid as it was without giving proper information about the right of the individual to be searched in presence of magistrate. Section 50 was incorporated with the objective to safeguard innocent citizens from the harm caused to persons by misuse of power by planning of false case by the law enforcing agencies. But currently it has come up in several cases due to incompetency of the law enforcing agencies the accused have been released. Hence there is a need for proper training institution for the officers appointed under search and seizure process. There should be specific task force which should be specialized in handling searching of Narcotics. The High Court, relying upon the decision of the Apex Court in State of Punjab v. Baldev Singhheld that the aforesaid intimation did not specify the provisions of Section 50 of the Act. It was held that the intimation given to the respondent could not be treated as communicating to him that he had a right under law to be search before the aforesaid authorities and since the recovery itself as illegal, the conviction and sentence had to be set aside. Being aggrieved from the order of this Court, an appeal was preferred by the State since in this case the information which was necessary to be given to complete the requirements of section 50 was not fulfilled.
- The NDPS Act mentions about the terms like consumer and an addict, consumption but there is no legal backing to provide a specific definition of what constitutes a consumer or an addict. There is a need that the legislature should try to clear these terminologies.
- Indian drug laws clearly show unnecessary harsh punishment like penalizing for personal use, imprisonment along with capital punishment and there are no traces of such punishment even in the U.N drug control convention. There is a need of comfortable and therapeutic means of consulting and counselling process for helping the addict person.
Possible Outcomes and Solutions
The problem of drug addiction is highly alarming and there are increasing at a high rate in the larger cities several basic awareness steps has been taken till now but there has been a considerable change. The solution to India’s drug problem can be figured if we look at steps which are taken by other countries.
Portugal’s drug laws are one of the exceptional ones in the world right now. Portugal was the first country in Europe to decriminalize all drugs. There are still restrictions, the Portugal legal frame work on drug changed in November 2002 when it adopted law 30/200, effective since July 2001 decriminalizing illicit drug use and related act. Further in April 2013 decree law was 54/2013 passed It precludes the generation, send out, promotion, dispersion, deal or straightforward administering of NPS named in the rundown going with the Decree Law and sets up a control instrument for NPS. Regulatory approvals including fines of up to EUR 45 000 can be forced for offenses under this law, while a man discovered utilizing NPS, yet who isn’t associated with having conferred another offense, is alluded to a neighborhood Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction.Portugal has gone from arresting 14,000 people per year for drug offenses to just around 6,000.Not only are the jails and prisons less full, people are using less dangerous drugs.
Human beings and not drugs, need to be at the center of drugs policy.
–Swiss health minister, Alain Berset at the UN
Throughout the previous 25 years Switzerland has connected a four-pronged approach: counteractive action, treatment, harm confinement and constraint. This down to earth strategy was conceived out of the Zurich tranquilize issues of the 1990s.prevention- providing awareness through education to the citizens. Therapy- providing medical assistance and rehabilitation to the needy ones, Damage Control- to minimize the negative health and social consequences of drug, cartoon can be helpful in this situation for making people aware, Control and Repair- enforcing measures for reduction of drug consumption through laws, the swizz people have their main focus on health, human rights and integration. In 1994 the Swiss initially presented the controlled solution of heroin by specialists for the incessantly dependent. In an interview external link with the German television station Deutsche Welle, Ruth Dreifuss, the-then health minister and current member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, criticized the UN’s tactics of using repression and bans to combat drug abuse, she said. “We should also talk about the failure of drugs policy and be ready to tread new paths.”
Despite being lenient with its drug laws, it still pursues and punishes those who are in engaged in trafficking and distributing drugs. The Czech national drug policy emphasizes on equality of drug treatment services, as well as social rehabilitation of those who are residing in the country. The drug treatment and care services are funded by subsidies ad grants from health ministry and other several governmental organs like labour ministry and other. Payment from health insurance agencies too help in providing funds to the rehabilitation centers. The Czech Republican at providing treatment facilities to the remote areas through low threshold harm reduction centers. There are about 50 to 60 units of the core drug treatment service called “addictological services” which provide residential care. Currently the ministry of health aiming at a more effective system towards community care and more flexible services based on regional needs and priorities.
Although it seems that Netherlands are famous for its tolerant drug policy but many people are unaware that drugs are illegal in Netherlands. Netherlands have a policy of forbidding all the drugs, but it is unlawful to create, have, offer, import and fare drugs. Not withstanding the administration outlined a medication arrangement which endures smoking cannabis under restricted terms and conditions. The Dutch people perceived that it is difficult to keep individuals from utilizing drugs altogether. Hence coffee shops are therefore allowed to sell small amount of soft drug. This approach helped the Dutch people to emphasizes on larger aspect of trafficking. Coffee shops are permitted to sell cannabis but no alcoholic drink may be sold or consumed. This small quantity should not be more that 5 grams of cannabis. As per the new role of 2013 only the residents are allowed to visit coffee shops and purchase cannabis tree. All the coffee shops owners are responsible that the person asking for the cannabis must be a resident of Netherlands and above 18 years of age, they are even authorized to ask for identity cards.
Uruguay became the first county in the world to legalize and regulate cannabis, regulating production, marketing and consumption of cannabis. The act gave the government the entire control of cannabis industry chained from production to consumption. The main aim of the bill passed by the Uruguay in 2012 was to protect and improve the public health of the population through policies geared towards minimizing the risk and reduce the danger of cannabis use. The Act tries separate marijuana from other harmful drugs the president of the oriental republic of Uruguay, Josh Mujica said that through this Act of legalization the government will have the complete monopoly of marijuana it will help in the reduced consumption of the drugs as the user have to be registered in the National Database and be at least 18 years old to buy cannabis, moreover a person is restricted to buy only 40 grams in a month and if he is producing not more than 6 plants.
Major Steps which would be Helpful
A lot of things could be implemented and a variety of changes could be brought in India. If we look around the world and took glance of their work in the field of prohibition against drug, India is still at a developing stage. The countries which are mentioned above have taken their stands and provide essential thread through which changes could be brought up. Firstly, by looking up at Portugal it can be seen that decriminalization of drug can be helpful not total freedom but up to some extent only or for specific drugs in Portugal it has caused considerable decline in the arrested persons. In Switzerland there is a systematic approach to fight against drug. India can too form a systematic approach a step by step going to the root of the problem. The swizz noble ideas could be adopted which is to focus mainly on health, human rights and integration. Repression and bans to combat drugs have not been effective. Since a majority of citizens are residents of villages and the schemes and the programs which are taken by the government of the awareness societies do not reach to the people, and a majority of people don’t even get the chance to be consulted. The Czech Republic has a uniform policy of equality of drug treatment services. They provide even residential care services which are provide through harm reductions centers situated across the country. Moreover, the problem of drug addiction is for the country as a whole hence likely in Czech, in India insurances companies should also be encouraged to provide funds to rehabilitation centers. It is well known it is very difficult to keep individuals from drug consumption, hence like the Dutch government emphasis should be on bigger aspects and provide a small liberty to its citizens through coffee shops. Hence people who consume enjoy consumption and putting restriction on other drugs and their mass trafficking. The government in India can adopt this method to reduce the consumption of harmful drugs and heavy trafficking. The other major step could be taken following the footsteps of Uruguay where the government exercises complete control over the production consumption distribution of cannabis. This approach helps in the restricting the consumption of other harmful drugs by separating it from cannabis. These steps could be taken and implanted in India to bring a reform in the drug laws and legislations. There is a huge need to reform in the drug laws as drug addiction is increasing in India due to anxiety, depression, loneliness, peer pressure. Hence there is a need to put steps in collaboration to bring back people into the society without harming their dignity and prestige, this could happen if the legal institutions and people should work together helping each other.
 3rd year (5th semester) B.A.LLB Hons. Student, Hidayatullah national law university, Raipur.
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