Drug misuse in India has a complex history, shaped by a variety of cultural, economic, and political factors.
One of the most notable examples of drug use in ancient India is the use of opium. According to historical records, opium was used in India for medicinal and recreational purposes as early as the 16th century. The British East India Company began exporting opium from India to China in the 18th and 19th centuries, which led to widespread addiction and social problems in China.
In the 20th century, drug misuse became a significant issue in India, particularly in urban areas. The widespread availability of drugs, coupled with poverty and social unrest, led to a rise in drug addiction and related crime. The use of opioids, such as heroin and opium, became particularly prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s.
In response to this problem, the Indian government implemented a number of laws and regulations aimed at controlling the production, distribution, and sale of drugs. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985, for example, criminalized the possession, production, and sale of certain drugs. Despite these efforts, drug misuse remains a significant problem in India today. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that the most commonly used drugs in India include opioids, cannabis, and amphetamines.
In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the use of synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, which has led to a rise in overdose deaths. Additionally, there has been a growing problem with prescription drug abuse in India, particularly with prescription opioids.
Overall, the history of drug misuse in India is complex and multifaceted, shaped by a combination of cultural, economic, and political factors. Despite government efforts to control the problem, drug misuse remains a significant issue in India today, with high rates of addiction and related health issues.
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2020). World Drug Report 2020. Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/wdr2020/
- Government of India. (1985). Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Retrieved from https://indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/6278/1/Narcotic_Drugs_and_Psychotropic_Substances_Act.pdf
- National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences. (n.d.). Substance Abuse in India. Retrieved from https://www.nimhans.ac.in/substance-abuse-in-india/