Drug Abuse Current Affairs - 2020

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Global Drug Survey 2019: First Time Polled Indian Respondents

The Global Drugs Survey, a survey of recreational drug-use for the first time polled respondents from India. It found that more than any other nationalities, Indians are seeking help to reduce their alcohol intake which reflects awareness of abuse. GDS 2019 is the 8th annual report published by the organisation.

About Global Drug Survey (GDS)

  • It is an independent research organisation based in London, United Kingdom (UK). It runs the largest global survey on recreational drug-use.
  • It is basically an anonymised online survey which uses a detailed questionnaire to assess trends in self-reported harms and drug use among regular drug users and early adopters of new trends.
  • Covers: Although it is not designed to determine the prevalence of drug behaviour in all the population of country but it throws light on prevalent stigmatized behaviours and health outcomes of that hidden population which is otherwise difficult to reach.
  • Importance: It can be used to inform targeted interventions about outcomes of drug-use. It uses its data and expertise to create digital health applications delivering screening as well as brief interventions for alcohol and drugs. It also produces a range of drug education materials for health and legal professionals, the entertainment industry and the general public.

GDS 2019: Key Findings about India

  • In comparison to respondents from other nationalities the Indians respondents are seeking help to reduce their drugs and alcohol intake.
  • Survey Shows Indians Willingness: that 51% of respondents wanted to ‘drink less’ in the following year and while only about 43% of Indians reported using cannabis but, the 51% among them also wanted to use ‘less cannabis’ in the following year. This wanting is more than any other nationality and reflects awareness of abuse by Indians.
  • Tobacco, Alcohol and Cannabis were among the most common drugs used by Indians.
  • Drunk Data: Out of almost 1,00,000 respondents from 30 countries worldwide, Indians reported ‘being drunk’ on an average of 41 times in the last one year. They are still behind Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S., and Denmark but well above the global average of 33 times.
  • Female Data: Only 6% of female Indians were surveyed who reported seeking ‘emergency medical treatment’ in last one yaer. The global female average for seeking emergency medical treatment was about 13%.

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National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023)

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has drafted National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023) for addressing the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country, dumping a long-pending draft policy on the matter.

Components of the Action Plan

The components of the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (2018-2023) are:

  • The Action Plan aims to employ a multi-pronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families to address the issue.
  • The Action Plan focuses on preventive education, awareness generation, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent people, besides training and capacity-building of service providers through the collaborative efforts of the Centre, state and NGOs.
  • Several measures like coordination with implementing agencies for controlling the sale of sedatives, painkillers and muscle relaxant drugs, holding awareness generation programmes and checking online sale of drugs by stringent monitoring by the cyber cell are proposed under the Action Plan.
  • The Action Plan also proposes awareness generation through social, print, digital and online media, and engagement of celebrities, besides strengthening the national toll-free helpline for drug prevention.
  • The Action Plan calls for persuading principals, directors, vice chancellors of educational institutions to ensure that no drugs are sold within/nearby the campus.
  • The Action Plan also aims at increasing community participation and public cooperation in the reduction of demand by involving Panchayati Raj institutions, Urban Local Bodies, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and other local groups like Mahila Mandals, self-help groups etc to tackle the menace of drugs.
  • A steering committee would be constituted under the chairmanship of the secretary, Social Justice Ministry, and with representatives from the Ministries of Health, Human Resource Development, Women and Child Development, Home Affairs, Skill development and Entrepreneurship to monitor the effective implementation of the Action Plan.
  • The Action Plan proposes module for re-treatment, ongoing treatment and post-treatment of addicts of different categories and age groups and database on substance use.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) under the AIIMS, is conducting a national survey on the extent and pattern of substance abuse.

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