AUTHOR: MUSKAN PARASHAR, A STUDENT AT MODY UNIVERSITY                                      

In India that hinders the development and well-being of the country. According to reports, a significant number of individuals, particularly males aged between 15 and 35, are engaged in drug addiction. The problem is not only restricted to a specific region but is prevalent across. 


Drug abuse is a serious problem that impacts societies all around the world, including India. Drug abuse hurts people and communities and is a barrier to the nation’s growth. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s Annual Report 2018–19 states that drug addiction is common among Indian men between the ages of 15 and 35 In addition, the number of drug users in areas like Manipur and Punjab is on the rise.

India has passed legislation like the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1985) and the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (1988) to combat the issue of drug usage. These legal measures seek to restrict the manufacture, distribution, and use of psychoactive and narcotic drugs. Notwithstanding the enactment of these regulations, drug misuse remains a major problem in the nation.

This article explores the legislative and policy actions India has made to address drug usage. It looks at the reasons behind drug usage, the difficulties in preventing it, and offers solutions for dealing with the issue successfully.

Table of Contents

  1. Legal Background
  2. Causes of Drug Abuse in India
  3. Statutory Provisions in India
  4. Government Initiatives
  5. Conclusion and Suggestion


Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act

On August 23, 1985, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) was presented to the Lok Sabha and went into effect on November 14, 1985. It is against the law to produce, possess, sell, buy, transport, store, or consume narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. In accordance with international treaties including the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971), and the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988), it was passed in order to fulfil India’s treaty responsibilities.

The most recent modification to the NDPS Act was made in 2014. The 2014 amendment established a class of medications known as Essential Narcotic Drugs (ENDs) in recognition of the significance of pain alleviation. The amendment ensured consistent laws across the nation by moving the authority for END legislation from state governments to the federal government.

The law covers all of India’s territory and all Indian nationals, including those who are abroad, as well as occupants of ships and aircraft with Indian registration numbers. It creates the Narcotics Control Bureau, whose job it is to enforce the NDPS Act’s prohibitions.

Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act

Enacted in 1988, the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act made it possible for the NDPS Act to be fully implemented and enforced. It gives law enforcement organizations the ability to fight against the illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychoactive substances.


Drug abuse in India is a complex issue with a multitude of contributing factors.

Firstly, socioeconomic considerations are important. People who experience poverty and unemployment may get depressed and despairing, and as a way to escape their terrible circumstances, they may turn to drugs.

Second, people are more likely to become addicted when drugs are easily accessible and available, especially in border regions. The problem is made worse by the nation’s geographic location, which places it between the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent, regions known for producing heroin.

Thirdly, ignorance of the negative consequences of drug misuse is a major contributing factor. Many people, especially those living in rural areas, are unaware of the detrimental effects that drugs can have on their lives and health.

Fourth, peer pressure is a big deal, especially for young people. Drug experimentation can result from a desire to blend in and be accepted, and this can eventually develop to addiction.

Lastly, drug misuse can also result from mental health conditions including stress, anxiety, and depression since people may turn to substance abuse as a way to self-medicate. The situation is made worse by the dearth of sufficient mental health resources and the stigma attached to getting treatment for mental health problems.

A broad approach is needed to fight drug misuse in India. These strategies include bettering socioeconomic conditions, reducing drug trafficking, raising awareness and education, increasing mental health facilities, and fostering supportive environments that reduce the negative effects of peer pressure.


India has signed several international conventions and treaties about drug control, such as the 2000 Transnational Crime Convention, the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The Indian Parliament passed the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988, as well as the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, to achieve its duties under these treaties.

The legal foundation for regulating the manufacture, distribution, and use of narcotic narcotics and psychotropic substances is provided by the NDPS Act. It divides compounds into three groups: substances utilized in the manufacture of drugs, psychotropic substances, and narcotic drugs. The amount of the prohibited substance used in the offense determines the penalty under the legislation.


The Government of India has taken several initiatives to combat the issue of drug abuse in the country. The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which emphasises the preventive and rehabilitative aspects of drug addiction, is one of the most important of them. The policy seeks to inform and raise public awareness of the negative effects of drug addiction while also offering a wide range of community-based services to drug addicts in order to aid in their rehabilitation. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 has named the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment as the nodal body for the prevention of alcoholism and substance addiction. A Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse for Social Defence Services has been put into place by the Ministry. In addition, the National Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was established by the government to combat drug trafficking on a military scale. When it comes to issues about drug usage, the NCB organizes the efforts of numerous agencies and state governments. The Narcotics Control and Psychotropic chemicals Act, which was also enacted by the government, establishes the legal foundation for both the punishment of those who violate the control over the use of narcotic narcotics and psychotropic chemicals.

Furthermore, a number of Indian state governments have started their own projects. The Punjab government initiated the ‘Nasha Mukt Punjab’ (Drug-Free Punjab) programme, encompassing measures like drug de-addiction and rehabilitation for drug addicts, in addition to strict measures against drug peddlers.


Even with laws and government initiatives in place, drug misuse is still a major problem in India. Better enforcement of current laws and rules is required to address this issue. Furthermore, preventative, counseling, and rehabilitation programs ought to receive more attention. Governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and local communities must work together to raise awareness, support those who are impacted, and stop the nation’s drug usage epidemic.

In conclusion, a comprehensive strategy including preventive tactics, legislative measures, and support networks is needed to combat drug usage in India. India can endeavour to create a drug-free society and enhance the well-being of its citizens by tackling the root causes and putting in place efficient regulations.

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