June 26 is International Day Against Drug Abuse
New Delhi: India has witnessed a five-time (455 percent) increase in drug hauls over three years – 2011 to 2013 – according to data released by the government in parliament.
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With nearly 18 percent of the world’s population in the 15-64 age-group, India is a prime market for illicit opiates originating in both Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia, according to the World Drug Report 2014.
The latest available data, from 2004, estimates that 10.7 million Indians – more than the population of Sweden – are drug users: 8.7 million consume cannabis and 2 million use opiates, according to a National Survey Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Indian ministry of social justice & empowerment.
Mizoram, Punjab and Manipur are among the states where people are most vulnerable to drug abuse. One reason could be their proximity to porous international borders and international drug-trafficking zones, such as the Golden Triangle (Myanmar, Thailand and Laos) and Golden Crescent (Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan).
Mizoram tops the list of states where drugs were seized: 48,209 tonnes over the past four years, followed by Punjab with seizures of 39,064 tonnes.
In terms of drug smuggling, the India-Bangladesh border is most vulnerable with 1,607 cases reported from 2011 till June 2014, followed by India-Nepal (779), India-Myanmar (317) and India-Pakistan (120).