India is located between two major illicit opiumproducing centres in Asia - the Golden Crescentcomprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran and theGolden Triangle comprising Burma, Thailand andLaos.Because of such geographical location, India experiences large amount of drug trafficking through the borders. India is the world's largest producer of licit opium. But opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets.
India is a transshipment point for heroin fromSouthwest Asian countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan and from Southeast Asian countries like Burma, Laos, and Thailand. Heroin is smuggled from Pakistan and Burma, with some quantities transshipped through Nepal. Most heroin shipped from India are destined for Europe. There have been reports of heroin smuggled from Mumbai to Nigeriafor further export.
In Maharashtra, Mumbai is an important centre for distribution of drug.The most commonly used drug in Mumbai is Indian heroin (called desi mal by the local population).Both public transportation (road and rail transportation) and private transportation are used for this drug trade.
Drug trafficking affects the country in many ways.
- Drug abuse: Cultivation of illicit narcotic substances and drug trafficking affects thehealth of the individuals and destroy the economic structure of the family and society.
- Organized crime: Drug trafficking results in growth of organized crime which affects social security. Organised crime connects drug trafficking with corruption and money laundering.
- Political instability: Drug trafficking also aggravate the political instability in North-Westand North-East India.
A survey conducted in 2003-2004 by Narcotics Control Bureau found that India has at least four million drug addicts.The most common drugs used in India are cannabis, hashish, opium and heroin. In 2006 alone, India's law enforcing agencies recovered 230 kg heroin and 203 kg of cocaine.In an annual government report in 2007, the United States named India among 20 major hubs for trafficking of illegal drugs along with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Burma. However, studies reveal that most of the criminals caught in this crime are either Nigerian or US nationals.
Several measures have been taken by theGovernment of India to combat drug trafficking in the country. India is a party of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), theConvention on Psychotropic Substances (1971), theProtocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1972) and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988). An Indo-Pakistani committee was set up in 1986 to prevent trafficking in narcotic drugs. India signed a convention with the United Arab Emirates in 1994 to control drug trafficking. In 1995, India signed an agreement with Egypt for investigation of drug cases and exchange of information and a Memorandum of Understanding of the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Drugs with Iran. However, all these measures have not been successful. We can defeat drug trafficking and hence drug mafia only by legalising of drugs and by setting up drug de-addiction centres under the Police stations.
Legalising the drugs:
In this connection, I reproduce below the article by Peter Wilby of guardian.co.uk:
In September 1989 Milton Friedman, the man whose views on economics influenced the policies of almost every government on the planet, wrote to Bill Bennett, "drug tsar" to the first President Bush. As Bennett prepared for a new phase in the "war on drugs", launched by President Nixon 18 years earlier – more police, harsher penalties, more jails, more military action overseas – Friedman wrote that "the very measures you favour are a major source of the evils you deplore". He pointed out how illegality made the drugs industry more, not less, lucrative, how crime had flourished during alcohol prohibition in the 1930s and would flourish more under Bennett's plans, and how "crack" might never have been invented had it not been for the drugs war.
Friedman was a firm supporter of decriminalising drugs, and regulating them as alcohol and tobacco are regulated. But however much governments listened to him on economics, they always ignored him on drugs. Many politicians of left and right have accepted the arguments for legalising drugs – but only before or after being in office. The signatories to a report launched in New York on Thursday, declaring that "the global war on drugs has failed" and that "the criminalisation, marginalisation and stigmatisation" of drug users should end, could hardly be more impressive.
They include former presidents of Brazil, Switzerland and Colombia, a former secretary general of the UN and a former US secretary of state. But the only current office holder is Greece's George Papandreou, who has other things on his mind just now. Other current leaders may be thought sympathetic. David Cameron said that the"war on drugs … has been tried and we all know it does not work". Barack Obama called the drugs war "an utter failure". But they said those things in 2002 and 2004 respectively, long before they got close to political power.
The arguments for legalisation are overwhelming. They do not rest on approval of drugs, or ignorance of their harms, or any wish to see their consumption increase. They are based on the argument that regulation would be less harmful to drug users, less damaging to society and less expensive to taxpayers than outright prohibition. Nobody disputes the dangers of drugs, only the best ways of controlling them.
All drugs become more dangerous when banned. First, because consumers have no protection from adulteration and often have no idea of the strength and quality of what they are buying. And second, because vendors favour more concentrated forms which are less bulky and easier to transport and hide.
Opium, smoked through a pipe, generates, as poets recorded, a drowsy numbness. Converted into pure heroin, a less bulky and more concentrated version, it does far greater harm, and is more addictive. Mixed with drain cleaner or sand – as much illegal heroin is – and injected into the veins with an unsterilised needle, it becomes lethal. During alcohol prohibition in America, consumption of beer fell 70% while consumption of wine and spirits soared. Alcohol was frequently mixed with methylated spirits, which explains the blind blues singers of that era.
Illegal drugs are also dangerous to those who never touch them. Because of the risks, suppliers charge premium prices, though, as in any retail business, new customers get bargain introductory offers. A drug habit is expensive and addicts turn to crime to finance it. Many become suppliers and join gangs which, because they operate in an unregulated market, protect market share and enforce contracts through violence. Estimates suggest over half of UK property crime is to fund drug misuse, and some judges reckon two-thirds of those in prison wouldn't be there if drugs were legal.
The war on drugs, then, is an expensive failure, an extended charge of the Light Brigade. At the time of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the UK had perhaps 10,000 problematic drug users. Now there are at least 300,000. UN figures, quoted in Thursday's report, suggest that in the past decade annual global consumption of opiates is up by 34%, cocaine by 27%, and cannabis by 8.5%. According to the lobby group Transform Drugs Policy, legalisation of cocaine and heroin alone would deliver a net annual saving of £4.6bn (excluding any revenue from taxing these drugs as we tax alcohol and tobacco), even if their use were to double. Portugal, 10 years after it became the first European country to decriminalise the use and possession of all illicit drugs, has experienced only a slight increase in drug consumption, and a decline in heroin.
The arguments over drugs are done and dusted. Any independent body that looks at the evidence comes to similar conclusions. So why do political leaders refuse to countenance more than minor tinkering with the law, such as yo-yoing cannabis between classes B and C? One answer is that as Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at Transform Drugs Policy, puts it, drugs have been presented as an existential threat and the war against them almost as a religious crusade. In the popular mind, drug users have always been demonised as what sociologists call "the other": Chinese gangsters, Caribbean immigrants, 60s hippies or other threats to the social order. Anyone who proposes ending the war risks being characterised by opponents, particularly in the downmarket media, as weak and cowardly, lacking the Churchillian spirit of "no surrender". History does not look kindly on those who lose wars.
But it goes, I think, even deeper than that. Control of drugs is deeply embedded in the DNA of modern government. The criminalisation of drug use, in the west at least, is almost entirely a 20th-century development. Laudanum, a tincture of opium, was in common use in Victorian England and Coca-Cola, invented in 1886, contained cocaine until 1903. No US state banned cannabis until 1915 and it remained legal in England until the 1920s, as did heroin and cocaine. The rise of conscript armies and Fordist mass production prompted the change, briefly affecting alcohol – the US took the first steps towards prohibition during the first world war – along with other drugs. Nobody wanted a drowsy numbness to overcome men marching into battle or clocking onto the production line. Significantly, Asian countries, which still earn their living from traditional manufacturing, now have some of the harshest anti-drug laws.
For most of the world, though, the time has come for political leaders to screw up their courage and rethink their policies. It surely cannot be beyond their spin doctors to present a switch to regulation not as a surrender but as a new phase in the drugs war. It is hard to think of anything that would do more to relieve death, destruction and human misery.
Setting up de-addiction centres at every police station in the country:
Please refer to the following article:
"Alcohol, Drugs Spell Trouble for HIV Patients
Binge Drinking Can Lead to Risky Behaviors
By Buddy T, About.com Guide
Updated July 25, 2006
With 31 percent of all HIV cases among men, and 57 percent among women, attributed to injection drug use, it is obvious the shooting illegal drugs increases the risk of contracting the AIDS virus, but drinking alcohol can also contribute to the spread and progression of the disease.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, non-injection drug use can also lead to contracting the HIV virus, because drug users may trade sex for drugs or money or engage in behaviors under the influence that put them at risk.
Binge Drinking RiskyThe same is true for people who drink to excess. People who are intoxicated loose their inhibitions and have their judgment impaired and can easily find themselves involved in behavior that would put them at risk for contracting HIV.
National Institute on Drug Abuse research shows that most young people are not concerned about becoming infected with HIV, but they face a very real danger when they engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Alcohol Increases HIV SusceptibilityRisky behavior is not the only way drinking alcohol can increase the risk for becoming infected with HIV. A study by Gregory J. Bagby at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center found that alcohol consumption may increase host susceptibility to HIV infection.
Bagby's student, conducted with rhesus monkeys infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), found that in the early stages of infection, monkeys who were given alcohol to drink had 64 times the amount of virus in their blood than the control monkeys. Bagby concluded that the alcohol increased infectivity of cells or increased the number of susceptible cells.
Virus Progresses FasterFor people who have already been infected with HIV, drinking alcohol can also may accelerate their HIV disease progression, according to a study by Jeffrey H. Samet at Boston University. The reason for this is both HIV and alcohol suppress the body's immune system.
Samet's research found that HIV patients who were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and were currently drinking, have greater HIV progression than those who do not drink. They found that HIV patients who drank moderately or at at-risk levels had higher HIV RNA levels and lower CD4 cell counts, compared with those who did not drink.
Drinking Affects Medication AdherencePatients with HIV who drink, especially those who drinking heavily, or less likely to adhere to their prescribed medication schedule. Both the Samet study and research at the Center for Research on Health Care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that nearly half of their patients who drank heavily reported taking medication off schedule.
The researchers said many of the heavy drinkers simply would forget to take their medications. This is potentially a big problem for healthcare providers due to the fact that alcohol dependence in those with HIV run at rates twice as high as the general population.
Please also refer to the following article:
|"Navjyoti - Delhi Police Foundation|
Kiran as Deputy Commissioner of Police (North), Delhi Police, in 1986 initiated de-addiction programs as a major step towards crime prevention. She set up detoxification centers at six police stations in her jurisdiction. All these centers were community supported through professional services. The addicts were, mostly involved in crimes to sustain their drug habits and could not afford private medical treatment and flocked to her centers for treatment.
This experiment was a remarkable success. The public support compelled it to be institutionalized and in 1988 she along with her colleagues from the police registered it as a Foundation called Navjyoti - Delhi Police Foundation for Correction, De-addiction and Rehabilitation. Kiran is the Founder General Secretary and continues to supervise it in an honorary capacity.
The model of Navjyoti became an inspiration for other state police forces across the country. Navjyoti counselors and Kiran gave many presentations on how Navjyoti works and how police could play a positive role in drug prevention. Many state police forces including the National Police Academy included this concept in their training programmes. Navjyoti started sharing and today has spread its message in many different cities through its training and affiliation exchange programmes.
Kiran in her personal capacity was awarded the Asia Region Award for maximum work done by any government servant in the field of drug abuse prevention in the South Asian region. Simultaneously, Navjyoti received the National Award for its outstanding work. Both the awards were given by the International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT), a Norwegian organization for the year 1989–91. Navjyoti won the award again for the year 1992. It has been accorded Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN). It was awarded the UN sponsored Serge Sotiroff Memorial Award for the year 1999 for its outstanding contributions in the field of international drug control.
Since inception in 1987, Navjyoti has detoxified around 12000 drug addicts from Delhi and the neighboring states. Detoxification is induced through a multi-disciplinary treatment — medical, psycho social and environmental and has follow-up and ‘Community Out Reach’ programmes. The Navjyoti programme follows the principle of psycho social management, which is adhered to by a team of trained social workers, counselors, para professionals, yoga therapists and abusers who are recovering and physicians who practice homeopathic medicine, naturopathy and acupuncture. Hence, the organization does not advocate the use of substitute substances, instead it practices total abstinence from all chemicals including those used for the purpose of detoxification. Patients remain at Navjyoti center for a year. All professional services are free of cost. The patient only pays for his food to a food contractor. For some patients, food comes from home. Navjyoti supports only the poor.
Navjyoti has institutionalized by organizing the family members of the recovering addicts as a Capable Group. They help themselves and others while assisting Navjyoti in after care services.
Navjyoti approach is very challenging and difficult because, according to it, the process of treating and rehabilitating drug abusers should always be open to new possibilities so as to maximize the potential for the former abuser’s recovery and reintegration into society. Navjyoti now runs a helpline service online and all relevant information could be gathered at www.drughelpline.org.
The foundation has expanded and has undertaken other projects too under its wings. It provides vocational training to women from economically weaker sections and provides Family Counseling services to residents of a resettlement colony in Delhi as also in the rural outskirts of the city. Trying to address the root cause of all miseries in the urban slums — illiteracy, Navjyoti runs a Street Children Project in one of the largest slums of Delhi since 1986. The foundation provides schooling till Class five and vocational training to the children. In order to expand its reach, the foundation also provides non formal education to the working children. In fact, the foundation offers a composite package for the development of the community in the slums, which also includes health care services and crèches for children. Its contribution to the society has been acclaimed by the government of India and Navjyoti was conferred the State award for Child Welfare.
Navjyoti was one of the first Non Governmental organizations which extended a helping hand in the reformative activities initiated at Tihar. It runs a crèche and a vocational training center for the female prisoners. Efforts are made by the foundation for rehabilitation of the released inmates."
While Dr. Kiran Bedi and her Foundation has done commendable work in de-addiction of drugs, I think that a lot more needs to be done at Governmental level. In this connection, I submit that a drug and alcohol de-addiction centre may be set up at every police station in India to help drug abusers and alcoholics who generally take to crime , to make them get rid of their addiction. The Police Stations are the obvious places alongwith prisons from where these hapless drug addicts and alcohol addiction cases would not be able to leave treatment against medical advice. Women as well as Men Police Officers may be recruited to trace such criminals who are alcoholics or drug addicts so that they could be treated under police supervision.
The above two steps of legalising drugs and setting up of de-addiction centres under police control would be able to defeat the drug mafia as they would have few customers.
I do hope that my proposal would be looked into and a reply sent to me. Would the Govt. of India with the help of the State Govts. would have the courage to launch such a project.
Satbir Singh Bedi