1. Introduction

According to World Health Organization (WHO), “a drug is any substance or product that is used or intended to be used to modify or explore physiological system or patho­logical states for the benefit of the recipients”.

Drug abuse is taking a drug for reasons other than medical, in any amount, strength, frequency or manner that damages the physical and mental functioning.

2. Types of Drugs


There are different types of drugs found in India.

1. Hallucinogens such as LSD, hashish, ganja and bhang. They are psychologically addictive and lead to insecurity and fear anxiety complexes.

2. Sedatives or depressants relax the central nervous system, induce sleep and provide a calming effect. Tranquilisers and barbiturates fall into this cat­egory.

3. Stimulants activate the central nervous and relieve tension, treat mild depression, induce insomnia (keep a person awake), increase alertness, counter fatigue and expressive drowsiness, and lessen aggressive inhibitors. The most widely known stimulants are amphetamines (popularly known as ‘pep-pills’), caffeine and cocaine.


4 Narcotics like sedatives, produce a depressant effect on the central nervous system. They produce feelings of pleasure, strength and superiority, » reduce,hunger, lessen inhibitions and increase sug­gestibility.

3. Government’s Policy and Action Again Drug Abuse

A large number of Ministries are concerned with problem of drug abuse such as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is concerned with Medical treatment of drug addicts; Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is re­sponsible for propaganda against drug abuse through government media; Department of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports in the Ministry of Human Resource Develop­ment are also engaged in tackling the problem of drug abuse.

Film shows are being arranged through official and non-official agencies. A large number of NGOs and Volun­tary Organization are being financially assisted under the Central Sector Scheme (CSS) of Assistance to Voluntary Organizations for education work for Prohibition, Counsel­ling and Rehabilitative work for Alcoholics, Drug Addicts and other victims” work for prohibition and drug abuse prevention in their communities.


For an interdisciplinary, integrated and coordinated action against drug abuse, an Empowered Committee has been in function since 1987 under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Welfare, with representatives, of the various concerned Ministries and Department of Govern­ment of India.

4. Legislations and Acts Against Drug Abuse

Under Narcotic Drugs and Psychostic Substances Act. 1985 with amendments brought in 1989 and Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychostic Substances Act, 1988, stringent laws are being enacted to fight against drug peddling and drug abuse. To curb the activities of drug traffickers and smugglers, a new Preventive Detention Act entitled “Prevention of Illicit Traffic in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act”, was enacted in 1988.

Further the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic sub­stances Act was amended in January 1989.


All State Police authorities, Narcotics Control Bureau Narcotics Commissioner of India, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Collectorate of Customs and Central Excise, Central Police Organizations are duly empowered to take action against drug abuse under the law.

Narcotics Commission of India, Narcotics Department under the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) was created in 1950 after the promulgation of the Constitution of India with a view to unifying and rationalizing the system of control over the production of opium throughout the country. It is headed by Narcotics Commissioner of India who is assisted by the Deputy Narcotics Commissioners, Gwalior (headquarters), Lucknow, Kota and Neemuch. The charge of each Deputy Commissioner is sub divided into divisions headed by an officer called the Divisional District Officer who with the assistance of the staff under him exercises control over poppy cultivation.