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CHAPTER I
NATURE AND MEANING OF DRUG ABUSE
Drug abuse affects most countries in the world, both rich and poor.
The problem now crosses national, ethnic, religious and gender lines. Addicts
range from the homeless, to white-collar professionals, college students to rural
farmers, street children to suburban teenagers1
Meaning of drug abuse
The drugs that are beneficial to humanity may also be the same drugs that
are detrimental to mankind. It is of no argument that drugs are created to cure
diseases and to alleviate human illness of human body; however people may
misuse over these drugs and it is called drug abuse. Abuse of all drugs has adverse
effects on physical, psychological and social conditions of the user. Under
nutrition, loss of appetite, bronchitis and generalized debility which may lead to a
host of other problems are the physical complications. Psychological effects
include anxiety, depression, insomnia, paranoia, deterioration of personality and
other severe mental illness. Abstinence from the work place, accidents, criminal
involvement, prostitution etc are social ill-effects of substance abuse. 2
Kinds of drug abuse
Drugs can be categorised as Depressants, Stimulants, Hallucinogens and
Narcotics. Depressants includes alcohol, tranquilizers, calmpose, valium etc.
Stimulants are, cocaine and amphetamines. The third category, i.e. Hallucinogens,
1

UN Report on drug abuse, 2012, p.1 , https://www.unodc.org/documents

ibid

are LSD, ganja etc. Narcotics drugs include, opium and its derivatives such as
heroin, brown sugar, Tidigesic, morphine, pethedine, fortwin etc. In Kerala,
alcohol, ganja, brown sugar and tranquilizers are greater in abuse3.
Effects of drug abuse
Drug abuse has become a social problem because it has afflicted the family,
the economy and the community. And abuse of all drugs has adverse effects on
physical, psychological and social conditions of the user. Under nutrition, loss of
appetite, bronchitis and generalized debility which may lead to a host of other
problems are the physical complications. Psychological effects include anxiety,
depression, insomnia, paranoia, deterioration of personality and other severe
mental illness. Abstinence from the work place, accidents, criminal involvement,
prostitution etc are social ill-effects of substance abuse. 4 Drug abuse is a complex
phenomenon, which has various social, cultural, biological, geographical,
historical and economic aspects. The disintegration of the old joint family system,
absence of parental love and care in modern families where both parents are
working, decline of old religious and moral values etc lead to a rise in the number
of drug addicts who take drugs to escape hard realities of life. Drug use, misuse or
abuse is also primarily due to the nature of the drug abused, the personality of the
individual and the addict's immediate environment. The processes of
industrialization, urbanization and migration have led to loosening of the

Kerala calling , magazine, February 2004

ibid

traditional methods of social control rendering an individual vulnerable to the


stresses and strains of modern life.
Causes of drug abuse
There are many reasons for a person turning to drugs, which include social
causes such as influence of peer group, for pleasure, rebelliousness to family and
society etc, Economic causes such as poverty, unemployment etc,changing life
style of people and acts of drug pushers to help drug vendors. The fast changing
social milieu, is mainly contributing to the proliferation of drug abuse, both of
traditional and of new psychoactive substances.
The introduction of synthetic drugs and intravenous drug has led spreading
of HIV/AIDS this has added a new dimension to the problem, especially in the
Northeast states of the country. Drug abuse has led to a detrimental impact on the
society. It has led to increase in the crime rate. Addicts resort to crime to pay for
their drugs. Drugs remove inhibition and impair judgment egging one on to
commit offences. Incidence of eve - teasing, group clashes, assault and impulsive
murders increase with drug abuse. Apart from affecting the financial stability,
addiction increases conflicts and causes untold emotional pain for every member
of the family. With most drug users being in the productive age group of 18-35
years, the loss in terms of human potential is incalculable. The damage to the
physical, psychological, moral and intellectual growth of the youth is very high.
Adolescent drug abuse is one of the major areas of concern in adolescent and
young people's behaviour. Over the last three years, there has been an increase in
cases of drug abuse among children in the 10-16 years age group in the city. As

per the data of city-based drug de-addiction hospitals, hardly any case of drug
abuse among children was reported five years back.5
A recent review article on 'substance abuse in children and adolescent in
India' by Dr Manu Agarwal of King George's Medical University (KGMU) stated
that not only in the city, the trend is being observed across the country. Substance
abuse is fast becoming a public health problem among the children and
adolescents of India revealed the study. Today drug abuse among students and
adolescents is growing in India faster than any other time before. And it has been
seriously affecting the growing Indian economy as well as the cultural richness of
Indian society for the past two decades. According to a recent survey, it is shown
that, an estimated 7.5 crore Indians are drug addicts and the number is going up
significantly, spreading to semi-urban and backward areas. The current prevalence
rates within the age group of 12-18 years was Alcohol (21.4 per cent), Cannabis
(three), Opiates (0.7) and any illicit drug (3.6 per cent) 6. And it is reported that a
high concentration of drug addiction in certain social segments and high-risk
groups, such as, commercial sex workers, transportation workers and street
children.7
Let us analyse how drug abuse has affected the social economic and
cultural aspects of India as well as Kerala.

5 Times of India, June 26,2013


6 National Survey on Extent, Pattern and Trends of Drug abuse in India conducted by the Centre in
collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2012, https:// www.unodc.org/documents

7 http://ibnlive.in.com/news, 2012 may 13

CHAPTER II
DRUG ABUSE IN INDIA

Drug abuse is a social evil. It destroys not only vitals of the society but also
adversely affects the economic growth of the country. Drug abuse is a global
phenomenon. In India, the use of opium and cannabis has been in existence since
long ago. In the last three decades, however new drugs like heroin, amphetamine
type stimulants (ATS), cocaine and pharmaceutical compounds have made their
entry and are being used especially in metropolitan cities. Currently, India is not
merely a country for the transit of such drugs from the Golden Triangle or
Golden Crescent; it has also become a country of consumption.8
The population of India has reached over 1 billion people and is rising. The
country is growing at an incredible pace. Its culture, social values, demographics
and economy is rapidly changing, and these stresses are having an impact on the
people. Some evidence suggests that there is an increasing use of illicit drugs and
reported numbers point to over 3 million drug addicts in India. However, the
World Health Organization does note that there is significant difficulty in
estimating drug usage and addiction rates in the country due to poor bureaucratic
processes and census reporting.9 Drug abuse among children and adolescents is
one of the major challenges that India has been facing even before the foreign
8 National Drug Demand Reduction Policy, Ministry of social justice and empowerment, March, 2013,
https://socialjustice.nic.in/pdf/NDDRP-march2013

9 http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-in-india

invasion. The Indian culture successfully handled mind-altering substances


without the worry of excessive use. The natural psychotropic plants in India,
namely cannabis, poppy, khat and datura, were kept under control for thousands
of years. Cannabis was used by being blown from a hubble-bubble pipe as madak
and brewed with teas as bonda chai.10

In fact, opium use prospered even with invasions from Alexander and the
Mughals. It was only after the British invasion that it was monopolised. The
British used to buy at least 15 million pounds of tea from China and has nothing
to sell in return. To balance the deficit, it aggressively sold opium to China. While
controlling cannabis was difficult for the fact that it can be grown anywhere in
India, the British systematically controlled the cultivation, consumption,
production and sale of opium in India.
Over the years, drug addiction is becoming an area of concern as
traditional moorings, effective social taboos, emphasis on self-restraint and
pervasive control and discipline of the joint family and community are eroding.
The processes of industrialization, urbanization and migration have led to
loosening of the traditional methods of social control rendering an individual
vulnerable to the stresses and strains of modern life. The fast changing social
milieu, among other factors, is mainly contributing to the proliferation of drug
abuse, both of traditional and of new psychoactive substances. The introduction of
synthetic drugs and intravenous drug use leading to HIV/AIDS has added a new

10 Y K shabarwal, National seminar organized by Delhi High court,https://

delhihighcourt.nic.in

dimension to the problem, especially in the Northeast states of the country. 11


Detecting this threat of spreading drug abuse among Indian citizens the
government of India have framed several policies and laws.

Demand reduction strategy - a welfare approach


The issues relating to drugs are tackled by the Government of India through its
two-pronged strategy viz. supply reduction and demand reduction. Whereas the
supply reduction is under the purview of the enforcement agencies with the
Department of Revenue as the nodal agency, the demand reduction strategy is
under the domain of social sector and the Ministry of Social Justice &
Empowerment in Government of India is responsible for implementation of
demand reduction strategy in the country.
Over the years it was realized that the drug abuse is not only a problem
arising out of the availability of such intoxicating drinks and drugs but it has a
great deal to do with the social conditions which create the demand for or the need
for consumption of such substances. The vulnerability of the modern society plays
a catalytic role in promoting the consumption and abuse of narcotic and
psychotropic drugs.
The findings of studies/reports indicate to the relationship of drug abuse
with the socio-economic conditions or the social dynamics of the population.
Therefore, the approach is to recognize drug abuse as a psycho-socio medical
problem, which can be best, handled through community based interventions.

11 http://socialjustice.nic.in

Keeping the aforesaid approach in view, the Govt. of India has a threepronged strategy for demand reduction consisting of:
Building awareness and educating people about ill effects of drug abuse
Building awareness and educating people about ill effects of drug abuse.
Dealing with the addicts through programme of motivational counselling,
treatment, follow-up and social-reintegration of recovered addicts.
To impart drug abuse prevention/rehabilitation training to volunteers with a
view to build up an educated cadre of service providers.
The objective of the entire strategy is to empower the society and the
community to deal with the problem of drug abuse.12

Treatment and Rehabilitation of Addicts - Government NGO Collaboration


The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, as the focal point for drug
demand reduction programmes in the country, has been implementing the
Scheme for Prohibition and Drug Abuse Prevention since the year 1985-86. As
implementation of programmes for de addiction and rehabilitation of drug
addicts require sustained and committed/involved effort with a great degree of
flexibility and innovation, a State-community (voluntary) partnership appears
to be particularly strong mechanism for service delivery. Accordingly, under
the Scheme, while major portion of the cost of services is borne by the
Government, the voluntary organisations provide actual services through the
12 https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Counselling and Awareness Centres such as de-addiction cum Rehabilitation


Centres, De-addiction Camps and through awareness Programmes.
The basic objective of the scheme is to create facilities for treatment, at
Centres run through voluntary organisations, is to ensure that the support of
the family and the community is mobilized to the maximum. These Centres
adopt a wide variety of approaches, systems and methodologies for treatment
and rehabilitation of the addicts suitable and adaptable to the social customs,
traditions and culture. However this do not in any way undermine adoption of
scientific, modern and established systems of treatment.13
Awareness and Preventive Education
The Counselling and Awareness Centers are engaged in a wide range of
awareness generation programme in varied community settings including
village panchayats, schools etc. Besides these Centers, the Ministry has been
actively utilizing the various media channels, print as well as audio-visual for
educating the people on the ill effects of drug abuse and also disseminating
information on the service delivery.14
International Cooperation - An Enrichment Process
The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, in collaboration with the
International Labour Organization and UNODC, implemented a project on
"Developing Community Drug Rehabilitation and Workplace Prevention
Programmes", to sensitise and train the voluntary organisations and workplace

13 Pratima Murthy, N. Manjunatha, Substance use and addiction research in India


14 P Murthy, Substance use and addiction research in India, 2010, https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

10

settings on prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse in workplace. It is


viewed that the work environment of an individual is the most important area
of preventive intervention for a potential addict as he still enjoys economic
security. The loss of a job further aggravates the addictive behaviour. This
aspect was not getting its due importance under the on-going programme. With
the sincere efforts made under the project, a number of corporate institutions
have also volunteered their involvement in the project.15
While all round efforts are being made for prevention and containment of drug
abuse in our society, a long journey is yet to be covered before India can draw
some satisfaction. Even though these policies and schemes are there in the
country there is no following up for the implementation of them, the increasing
drug usage in the country is evident for this. The problem having transnational
causes and implications shall require Herculean efforts on the part of all the
Government. The empowerment of society through sensitisation and awareness
is the only solution to support the efforts of enforcement agencies in containing
the proliferation of drug trafficking and drug abuse. In addition to these policies
several anti-drug laws as well as constitutional provisions are there in the
country to tackle this menace.

15 ibid

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CHAPTER III
LAWS PREVENTING DRUG ABUSE IN INDIA

Drug abuse is a serious social problem. The drug abuse is growing and an
ever increasing number of youth is becoming addicted. The smuggling of narcotic
drugs and psychotropic substances into India, and illegal trafficking in such drugs
and substances lave led to drug addiction among a sizeable section of the public,
particularly the adolescents has assumed serous and alarming proportions in the
recent years. Drug addiction threatens to kill the whole generation. No individual,
family or community is safe where illicit drugs take control. Drugs may control
the body and mind of individual consumers, the drug crop and drug cartels may
control farmers, illicit trafficking and crime may control communities. Drugs
destroy lives and communities, undermine sustainable human development and
generate crime. Drugs affect all sectors of society; in particular, the young people.
CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATES
India's approach towards Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is
enshrined in Article 4716 of the Constitution of India. Which mandates the
government to prohibit the use and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs
which are injurious to health. The right to health has been perhaps the least
difficult area for the court in terms of justifiability, but not in terms of
enforceability. Article 47 of Directive principles of state policy provides for the
duty of the state to improve public health. This Article is based on Gandhian
1616 The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people
and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall
endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating
drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

12

principles. However, the court has always recognized the right to health as being
an integral part of the right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of Indian
constitution.in the case State of Punjab v Mohinder Singh, the Supreme Court
held that Right to health is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 2117.
Article 25318 of the Constitution empowers the Parliament to legislate for
the purpose of discharging obligations under international conventions and foreign
treaties. Accordingly, the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985
was enacted in November, 1985, to give effect to the provisions of the existing
UN Conventions. It contains stringent provisions for the control and regulation of
narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and provides an essential framework
and appropriate provisions for administrative action.
ANTI-DRUG LAWS
The statutory control over narcotic drugs in India is exercised through a
number of Central and State enactments. The Opium Act of 1857, Opium Act of
1878 and the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1930 were enacted a long time ago.
However with the increase in drug abuse and illicit drug traffic certain
deficiencies in the existing laws surfaced which made it necessary for the
Parliament to enact a comprehensive legislation to combat this challenge. For e.g.
the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930 provides for a maximum term of imprisonment of
3 years with or without fine and 4 years with or without fine for repeat offences.
17

AIR 1997 SC 1225

18 Parliament has the power to make any law for the whole or any part of the territory of India for
implementing any treaty, agreement or convention with any other country or countries or any decision
made at any international conference, association or other body.

13

As a result of experience gained on account of Indias participation in various


international conventions that are single convention on Narcotic drugs,1961,
Convention on psychotropic substance 1971, Convention on illicit traffic in
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substance 1988 and realizing Indias obligation
under Article 25319 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and
Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
196620 , which are reflect the concern of the international community for the
protection of the individual's right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable
standards of physical and mental health and the gravity of the problem and the
need to enact laws in tune with times, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances Act of 1985 was passed by Indian Parliament as a comprehensive
legislation on narcotics, providing for stringent and long term prison sentences
and heavy fines for offenders. Offender under this Act includes the cultivator,
supplier, and seller as well as the drug consumer 21.The amended Drugs and
Cosmetics Act 2008 and Rules also provide for deterrent punishment and stringent
control over manufacture, sale, and distribution of psychotropic substances. The
amended Act provides that any drug deemed to be adulterated or spurious when
used by any person for or in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation, or prevention of
any disease or disorder is likely to cause his death or is likely to cause such harm
19 Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and Well-being of himself and of
his family.

20 The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the
Highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

21 Y.K Shabharwal, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances, National Seminar organised by Delhi
High Court in collaboration with Government of Delhi. http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/speeches

14

on his body as would amount to grievous shall be punishable with imprisonment


for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to
imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than
ten lakh rupees or three times value of the drugs confiscated, whichever is more.
The fines realized in such cases will be paid to the relative of the deceased or the
aggrieved person22. Despite these harsh punishments, the crime is on rise23.

AN OVERVIEW OF NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC


SUBSTANCES ACT
The NDPS Act, 1985 is one of the harshest laws in the country. It prohibits
cultivation, production, possession, sale, purchase, trade, use and consumption of
narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances except for medical and scientific
purposes under license.
The NDPS Act 1985 sets out the statutory framework for drug law
enforcement in India. The main elements of the control regime mandated by the
Act are.
The Act prohibits the cultivation, production, manufacture,
possession,

sale

purchase,

transportation,

ware

housing,

consumption , interstate movement, transshipment and import and


export of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances except for
medical or scientific purposes and in accordance with the terms and

22 Section 12, Drugs and cosmetic (amended) Act 2008


23

15

conditions of any license, permit or authorization given by the


government.24
The central government is empowered to regulate the cultivation,
production, manufacture, import, export, sale, consumption, use etc.
of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.25
State governments are empowered to permit and regulate possession
and interstate movement of opium, poppy straw, the manufacture of
medical of medicinal opium and the cultivation of cannabis
excluding hashish26
The central government is empowered to declare any substances,
based on an assessment of its likely use in the manufacture of
narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as a controlled
substance.27
Given Indias size and the federal nature of polity, a number of agencies
both at the center and the states have been empowered to enforce the provisions of
the Act. These agencies include the department of customs and central excise, the
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Central Bureau of Narcotics and the
central Bureau of Investigation and the central level and state police and Excise
departments at the state level. The Union Ministries of social Justice and
Empowerment and Health are responsible for the demand, reduction aspects of

24 Section 8 of the Act


25 Section 9 of the Act
26 Section 10 of the Act
27 Section 9 A of the Act

16

drug law enforcement which broadly covers health- care and the de-addiction,
rehabilitation and social re-integration of addicts.28
Chapter IV (15 to 40) of the Act deals with prohibition of offences and
penalties related to cultivation, production, transportation, selling, and purchasing
of poppy straw29, coca plant30 , coca leaves31, prepared opium32, opium poppy33 ,
opium34, cannabis plant35 and cannabis36. All these offences are triable by special
courts and the punishments prescribed range from imprisonment from 10 to 20
years for first offences, to 15 to 30 years for any subsequent offences together
with monetary fines. In addition to persons directly involved in trafficking
narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, any person who finances trafficking
28 Malik, Commentaries on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Law publishers (India)
pvt. Ltd, 2012, p.5

29. Section 2 (xviii) of the Act defines"poppy straw" as all parts (except the seeds) of the opium poppy
after harvesting whether in their original form or cut, crushed or powdered and whether or not juice has
been extracted therefrom.

30 Section 2(vi)(a) the Act defines "Coca plant" as the plant of any species of the genus Erythroxylon.
31 Section 2(vi)(a) defines coca leaf means as the leaf of the coca plant except of a leaf from which all
ecgonine, cocaine and any other ecgonine alkaloids have been removed

32

Section 2(xi)(b) defines prepared opium as any product of opium by any series of operations
designed to transform opium into an extract suitable for smoking and the dross or other residue remaining
after opium is smoked

33

section 2 (xvii)of the Act defines "opium poppy" as the plant of the species Papaver somniferous L.;
and the plant of any other species of Papaver from which opium or any phenanthrene alkaloid can
be extracted and which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,
declare to be opium poppy for the purposes of the Act

34 section 2 (xv) of the Act defines opium" as

the coagulated juice of the opium poppy, S.2,(xv)

35 Section 2 (iv) of the Act defines cannabis plant" as any plant of the genus cannabis.
36 Section 2 2 (iii) defines Cannabis(hemp) as charas that is the separated resin, obtained from cannabis
plant and ganja, that is, the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant.

17

or harbors a person in trafficking or abets, or is a party to a criminal conspiracy.


Including a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence outside India, is also liable
to the same scale of punishments.
The most important mandate of this Act is that it provides punishment for the
consumption of any kind of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. 37The
earlier provisions of this Section made possession of small quantity of any
narcotic drug or psychotropic substance, which is proved to have been intended
for personal consumption and not for sale and distribution or consumes any
narcotic drug or psychotropic substance punishable under the Act.
But the new provision clearly stipulates that whoever consumes any
narcotic drug or psychotropic substance shall be punishable. Thus, the provision
of small quantity for personal consumption has been completely deleted and
substituted by provision of mere consumption. Punishment varies accordingly to
consumption. In the case Alpesh kumar v.State of Rajasthan38, the accused was
caught for illegally possessing two cigarettes containing 500 ml.gm of heroin, the
accuse argued that it was for his personal consumption but interpreting section
2739 r/w S.8 of the Act the supreme court held that the accused was guilty.
37

Section 27 of the Act.

38 AIR 2004 SC 952


39 Section 27 states that Whoever, consumes any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance shall be
punishable,- (a) where the narcotic drug or psychotropic substance consumed is cocaine, morphine,
diacetyl-morphine or any other narcotic drug or any psychotropic substance as may be specified in this
behalf by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette, with rigorous imprisonment for a
term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to twenty thousand rupees; or with
both; and(b) Where the narcotic drug or psychotropic substance consumed is other than those specified in
or under clause (a), with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may
extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

18

Prior to 2001, in cases pertaining to drug users, the Supreme Court, took into
account the actual drug content in calculating quantity and not the entire quantity
seized40. After the 2001 notification, the penalties were determined by the quantity
of drugs involved, but the NDPS Act did not provide any guidance of ascertaining
the quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. In 2008, the Supreme
Court in E. Michael Raj v Intelligence Officer41, Narcotic Control Bureau held
that in the mixture of a narcotic drug or a psychotropic substance with one or
more neutral substance/s, the quantity of the neutral substances is not to be taken
into consideration while determining the small quantity or commercial quantity of
a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. It is only the actual content by weight
of the narcotic drug which is relevant for the purposes of determining whether it
would constitute small quantity or commercial quantity.
By the amendment in 1989 Section 31A was inserted in the NDPS Act which
imposes mandatory death penalty for certain repeat crimes involving a large
quantity of drugs. The death sentence is mandatory in that there is no punishment
laid down in Section 31A other than death. In June 2010, An NGO the Lawyers
Collective challenged this provision in Indian Harm Reduction Network v Union
of India42

on grounds of infringing fundamental rights under Articles 21

(protection of life and liberty) and 14 (equal protection of law) of the Constitution
of India. It also questioned the appropriateness of a death sentence for drug
40 Hussain v State of Kerala (2000)8 SCC 139; Ouseph v State of Kerala [2001, Supreme Court; reported
in (2004) 4 SCC 446]

41 (2008) 5 SCC 161


42 AIR 2013 SC 562

19

trafficking, which does not involve killing or taking of human life and is merely
an economic offence.
Section 64A of the NDPS Act provides immunity from prosecution to
addicts43volunteering for treatment, if they are charged with consumption or
offences involving small quantity. This provision is in keeping with International
Drug Conventions that encourage alternatives to penal sanctions where the
offence is of a minor nature or where the offender is dependent on drugs
her/himself.44
The Act has been amended twice; in 1989 and 2001. The first amendments in
1989 leaned towards greater stringency by introducing mandatory minimum
sentences of 10 years, restrictions on bail and mandatory capital punishment for
repeat offenders. Following the amendments, persons caught with small
amounts of drugs faced long prison sentences, without the possibility of release on
bail. Courts criticized the harsh and disproportionate sentencing structure, which
led to a fresh set of reforms in 2001 to rationalize punishment on the basis of
whether the quantity of drugs involved is small commercial or intermediate
and provide some leniency towards drug offenders who also use drugs. 45
Though the NDPS Act provides for stringent provisions for curbing drug abuse
and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the Act has
43 Section 2 (i) defines addict as a person who has dependence on any narcotic drug or psychotropic
Substance.

44 Article 36 (1) (b), Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the Protocol Amending
the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1972, https://www.unodc.org/pdf/convention_1961

45

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances act Ignoring Health; Infringing Rights,
http://www.lawyerscollective.org

20

certain defects, for example Patients with severe pain in India are not able to get
opioid medicines for pain relief because the state NDPS Rules make it difficult for
hospitals to store and dispense opioids. Hospitals have to obtain licenses for
stocking, import, export, transport etc, each license requiring concurrence from
different departments (Excise, Drugs Control, Health administration). These
licenses need to be valid at the same time, though often the validity period of a
license is as short as a month. By the time the institution gets a second license,
often the first would have expired validity. On the other hand, though the NDPS
Act allows medical use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, stringent
regulations and onerous licensing procedures together with controls under the
Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 have impeded access to opiates for millions of
patients.
In order to rectify these disabilities of the Act, recently on February 2014
the loksabha has passed the NDPS (amendment) Bill. The amendments make
important, path breaking changes for medical access to narcotic drugs by
removing barriers that date back to 1985, when the Act was first introduced. The
amendments also include provisions to improve treatment and care for people
dependent on drugs, moving away from abstinence oriented services to treating
drug dependence46 as a chronic, yet manageable condition.47 This will now change
as Parliament has adopted a new category of essential narcotic drugs in section
46 Drug dependence is the body's physical need, or addiction, to a specific agent. There is therefore
virtually no difference between dependency and addiction. Over the long term, this dependence results in
physical harm, behavior problems, and association with people who also abuse drugs,
https://www.google.co.in

47 http://www.lawyerscollective.org/updates/parliament-passes-ndps-amendment-bill-2014

21

2(viiia) of the Act a list, which the Central Government can notify on the basis
of expediency in medical practice. Drugs identified as essential will be subject to
Government Rules, which will apply uniformly throughout the country, bringing
to an end the unwieldy and inept practice of obtaining multiple State licenses for
possession, transport, purchase, sale, distribution, use and consumption. And the
amendments broaden the object of the NDPS Act from containing illicit use to
also promoting the medical and scientific use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances
It is true that the efficacious provisions of the Act are worth for curtailing the
illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and drug abuse but when we consider the
changing life style of people and growing demand for narcotic drugs for medicinal
purposes these provisions are inadequate and needs to be amended. And more
than adopting a punitive approach to the drug users the anti- drug laws should
adopt means to rehabilitate them and make them useful citizens to the country.

CHAPTER IV
SITUATION IN THE STATE OF KERALA

Drug abuse is a global problem. How to prevent it is also a global issue...


Only by working together can we create a healthier and safer world that is not

22

plagued by drug-related crime and violence and where the vulnerable feel they
can have hope for the future48.
For hundreds of years, we have known that Kerala, the lands end of India which
has produced the greatest Philosopher ever known Sankaracharya made sense as a
great state. It is true that among the other Indian states Kerala has a uniqueness in
its culture and life style of people. Our tourism department says it is gods own
country, yes to a certain extend it is true in the sense that most of the time she
was free from drought, floods, riots and other calamities even though other states
were being affected by these calamities. In literacy rate the state is first 49, sex ratio
is highest among all other states 50 and in human development index Kerala ranks
first with a rate of 0.62551 which is much higher than the national average. But in
recent years the situation is changing. As per the report of national crime records
bureau in 2013, Kerala is the state where largest number of crimes against women
is registered. And now Kerala is negatively famous for its huge alcohol
consumption in every year. Moreover the case of alcohol consumption, in recent
years there has been a tendency to use narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances, particularly among children and adolescence. Children and youths are
the back bone of a society and they are the engineers of making future, anything
which affects their mental ability and thinking capacity will also affect the social
48 Global action for healthy communities, without drugs.

https://www.unodc.org/.../global-action-for-

healthy-community

49 As per 2011 census literacy rate is 91.91%,http://censusindia.gov.in


50 As per 2011 census sex ratio is 1084 females for 1000 males.
51 As per the HDI report 2011,

http://censusindia.gov.in

http://www.undp.org/content/undp

23

and economic development of a society. Many studies have reported that children
smoke their first cigarette while attending primary school, though generally
smoking is most likely to begin during adolescence.
People abuse substances such as drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for varied and
complicated reasons, but it is clear that our society pays a significant cost. The toll
for this abuse can be seen in our hospitals and emergency departments through
direct damage to health by substance abuse and its link to physical trauma. Jails
and prisons tally daily the strong connection between crime and drug dependence
and abuse. Although use of some drugs such as cocaine 52 has declined, use of
other drugs such as heroin53 and "club drugs54" has increased.55
Studies conducted by the by the Thiruvananthapuram-based Alcohol & Drug
Information Centre (ADIC) India shows that there is an alarming increase in drug
abuse among youngsters. This also leads to increase in criminality and other vices.
The age group of people accused of various crimes show that most of them are in
their twenties.56

52 Cocaine is an addictive drug derived from coca or prepared synthetically, used as an illegal stimulant
and sometimes medicinally as a local anaesthetic.

53 Heroin is a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine, often used illicitly as a narcotic
producing euphoria.

54 Club drugs are a pharmacologically heterogeneous group of psychoactive drugs that tend to be
abused by teens and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties.

55 http://www.haindavakeralam.com
56 Urban youth on an alcoholic high, The Hindu newspaper, march, 5, 2013

24

DRUG ABUSE AMONG CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENCE IN


KERALA
Kerala is a developing state in India, it ranks highest in
health care, highest in standard of living, and it has better law and order and
infrastructure facilities etc. But recent studies and investigations conducted by
various organizations and TV channels shows that a sizable portion of the children
and adolescent population in the state are entangled in the use of illicit drugs and
psychotropic substances. It is reported that drug mafias and rackets are
functioning in the state focusing their illegal business on schools and colleges.
The changing life style of people and in capability of bearing stress are found to
be the main reasons of children and youth being addicted to illicit drugs and other
psychotropic substances.
Kerala has a total adolescent (Between the age group of 10-19)
population of 16.3% and youth (Between the age group of 15-24) population of
15.8% and child (Between the age group of 10-14) population of 8.4%57. Compare
to other developing states in the country the child and young population in the
state is much lower. So the available potion children and youth is precious and
they are the driving force of future development and it is the duty of the state to
protect them from all social evils.

57 As per census report, 2011,

http://censusindia.gov.in

25

Newspaper reports that appear now and then give a clear message that Kerala is
now slowly becoming a hub for drug smugglers. The number of alcoholics and
drug addicts in Kerala have been increasing and the number of deaths due to
alcohol abuse has increased tenfold within the last 3 years.
A silver lining in the dark clouds is that the 2011-12 period witnessed a
5% drop in the sales of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation, which means that
Keralites are gulping down less liquor now.

FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR INCREASING DRUG AND


SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN KERALA
A common acronym in addiction circles is H-A-L-T, meaning Hungry,
Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These are emotions leading to vulnerability and
subsequent substance abuse58.
Alcohol and drug abuse has emerged as a serious concern in Kerala. The
geographical location of the state further makes it highly vulnerable to the
problem of drug abuse. In earlier days the huge amount of alcohol consumption
was the social evil for which the state could not implement any effective
measures, but now a days the gravity of the situation has aggravated by the
increasing use of narcotic drugs and other psychotropic substances. There are
several factors which provides impetus to the current situation in the state.
It is very difficult to explain the apparent increase in alcohol abuse and
drug addiction in Kerala. Like elsewhere Kerala has also witnessed the
58 Thombs, D. (2006). Introduction to Addictive Behaviors. New York: Guilford Press, p.126

26

disintegration of the old joint family system, absence of parental care & affection
in modern families, decline of old religious and moral values, the fast changing
social milieu and the increasing personal strain and stress resulting from
industrialization, urbanization and migration. Other than these, there are certain
Kerala-specific issues as well.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS
Psychological factors are the important factors that influence most of the
children and adolescent persons to use illicit drugs. The psychological aspects
such as stress, anxiety, depression can lead to persons to use narcotic drugs and
other psychotropic substances.
Most of the students in Kerala are feeling stress from their home and
education centers. Drastic growth in the education field has caused the parents to
lay more stress on the students to study; it has caused anxiety and depression on
the children. Anxiety signals a threat but it can overwhelm the ego. When anxiety
is overwhelming, a person relies on defense mechanisms such as denial,
avoidance, rationalization, regression, projection, etc. 59 In order to get out of this
anxiety and depression students are resorting to the prescription drugs which has
high side effects to brain and body. Parental neglect of children is another
psychological factor, in this present world most of the parents do not get adequate
time to look after their children and most of the time they are hesitating to
interfere in the personal matters of their children, this makes them a feeling that

59 51 Ibid

27

they are neglected, the growing number of divorce in the state supports this
argument. Among college students, it is found that, love failure is another cause
for drug abuse; the depressed students took to the use of substances and drugs.
Some people use drugs for ecstasy and to get sexual vigorousness.
All the people who use drugs for the first time feel that they can overcome their
problems by using drugs, but in reality over time the changes in the brain caused
by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make sound
decisions, and at the same time create an intense impulse to take drugs.

SOCIAL FACTORS
When someone takes drugs, he is generally looking for a benefit or are
ward. The motivators behind the initial drug use can lead to addiction. There are
several social factors that increase the chances of developing a drug addiction.
Social factors includes the institutions that influences the behavior of individuals.
The negative influence of these social institutions adversely affects the mind of
youngsters and students and entangle them in the trap of drug addiction. These are
include, peer groups, family, community religion etc.
Some of these factors have grave relevancy in the rapid increase in the
incidence of drug abuse. The social factors includes.
PEER PRESSURE
Particularly in teens, peer pressure can have an effect on drug use. Studies
prove that most of the students starts using drugs under the influence of their
friends. If anyone in a peer group is addicted to narcotic drugs he will try to

28

spread the habit among other persons too. Peer influences have been found to be
among the strongest predictors of drug use during adolescence. It has been argued
that peers initiate youth into drugs, provide drugs, model drug-using behaviors,
and shape attitudes about drugs.60Membership of a social group that supports drug
or alcohol use encourages people to keep on using these substances.

FAMILY
Most of the parents in Kerala are not aware of the fact that their children
are addicted to drugs.61This is often caused by the parental negligence of children
and non-interference of parents in the matters of their sons and daughters. Studies
revealed that in a good number of cases, the families of drug- users were not
normal and family relationship were not affectionate. In testing the relationship
between drug usage and staying away from parents, it was found that residence
with parents was as important in the incidence of drug usage as residence in
hostel. In other words family background is significant in drug usage.
The nature of family control, the discipline imposed by parents over the
children, the parents interest in their friends. Leisure activities and their future
career prospects and parents remain conscious of their obligations towards their

60 http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/peer-pressure
61 Asianet news report titled clean campus safe campus.

29

children were found to be important factors which determine the childrens


inclination to step into the world of drugs.62

EASY AVAILABILITY OF DRUGS


One of the important factors that helps the growth of drug usage among
children and adolescence is the easy access to the drugs and substances. As far as
the state of Kerala is concerned, the news reports 63 and police investigations have
proven that many drug mafias and rackets have been functioning in the state
focusing their attention on youth and adolescents who are addicted to drugs. And
they are campaigning among the students influence them by praising the faulty
merits of these kinds of drugs. It is reported that these rackets uses the persons
who are highly addicted to drugs (locally called jungies) to influence the other
persons.
It has also been reported that alcohol and drug mafia and drug cartels are
cultivating high potent marijuana on thousands of hectares of forest land in
Idukki&Waynad. Similarly trafficking psychotropic substances in large quantities
from Mysore and other parts of Karnataka, aiming the students and youths in
Kozhikode and nearby districts has also become rampant. As per the police
records, an average of 5-6 drug peddling cases are being registered in a month in

62 Social problems in India, Ram Ahuja, Rawat publications New Delhi, 3rd edition,2014, p.375
63 The Hindu June, 4, 2014.

30

Kozhikode. In February 2013 alone a total number of 6813 Spasmo Proxyvon 64 on


and Nitrazepam65 tablets were recovered from drug peddlers.66
The city police commissioner of Trissur district P.Vijayan has says that
Alcohol and substance abuse have become common in schools, among both boys
and girls. A well-developed drug network functions around schools to hook
impressionable adolescents. There is an ever increasing need to be vigilant against
these anti-social elements67

ECONOMIC FACTORS
The studies reports that increasing unemployment leads to the increase of the
incidents of drug abuse among the youth. The tremendous stress, rejection, fear
and frequent bouts of depression that often result from being unemployed are high
risk factors for the development of a substance abuse problem. Many people who
are struggling with the negative effects of unemployment turn to alcohol or drugs
to mitigate the discomfort and sense of helplessness they feel. This is a serious
mistake, and it can destroy your entire life. There are incidence that these
unemployed persons got trapped in the gang of drug mafias and rackets and do the
illegal job as drug dealers.

64 spasmo proxyvon is a pain killer which is used to generally for stomach pain treating functional bowel
disorders ootherway ,it has very much side effects first of all it is so much addictive.

65 Nitrazepam (Nite-raz-ep-am) is a medicine which is used in difficulty sleeping. It is a hypnotic drug.


66 News report on The Hindu February 12, 2014
67 News report on The Hindu, August 30,2014

31

With the liberalisation of the economy in 1990s leading to the


marginalization of large scale sectors, pushed some people to adopt the use and
sale of drugs as a coping mechanism. The secular drug use in times of poverty
pushed the way for the spread of heroin in the market. Research suggests that
there is a strong association between poverty, social exclusion and problematic
drug use. Those who are unemployed, particularly long term unemployed, in poor
or insecure housing and are early school leavers have a higher rate of substance
abuse than those who do not fit into these categories. It should be noted, however,
that these risk factors do not determine whether a person abuses drugs or
alcohol68. In Kerala, the studies says that drug abuse is high among poor
adivasis. Owing to their destitution and ignorance as to the fact of the
consequence of drug usage they can easily be influenced by the drug dealers. In
the initial stages they were provided with drugs on cheap cost and gradually, when
they become addicted to drugs they will start demanding more money for further
delivery of drugs, this would aggregate the poverty among them. And most of the
awareness campaigns conducted by the government do no reach them.

CHANGING LIFE STYLEOF PEOPLE


Because of the rich wildlife diversity and scenic beauty, the hills of Kerala have in
the past four decades attracted domestic and foreign tourists from various
countries as the tourism sector in Kerala develops the social evils behind its
screen also increases. The recent trends shows that prostitution and drug abuse are
increasing in the state with development of tourism industry. Many of the drugs
68 http://alcoholrehabilationkerala.com/drug-addiction/poverty-and-substance-abuse

32

such as Heroin and Hashish are coming through the hands of tourists and
consequently these are distributed among the people.
The changing life patterns of people also influences the drug usage in the
state. There are several incidents of drug dealings and drug abuses have been
taking place in different corners of Kerala behind the scene of night party in house
boats and hotels. It is shocking that drug parlors are functioning in the state and
drug party and drug evenings are being conducted. An international mafia is
tightening its grip in the state providing narcotic candies, ice cream and pills to
woo children(said

home minister Ramesh Chennithala, while inaugurating

International day against drug abuse) .Like liquor people have started consuming
psychotropic substances to entertain themselves. The recent seizure hashish
heroine and other highly seductive psychotropic substances from the house boats
and hotels where night parties are being conducted, supports this view.
Another factor is that, youths who have taken international celebrity
icons as their role models consume drugs for showing their loyalty and respect to
him. Recently Kerala police have arrested several teenagers for possessing
ganja69. At the time of arrest the police have seized some bags and jacket from
them having the picture of Bob Marley on it. And cell phones they were carrying
have the pop songs of Bob Marley. The police have said that the drug rackets are
using Bob Marley as a mascot for selling drugs.70

GEOGRAPHICAL FACTORS
69 Ganja is the local name used for calling cannabis
70 Times of India, February 19, 2014

33

Keralas coastal area has always been a vulnerable point. Thrissur district
which has the longest coastline among the districts from Veliyankode in Ponnani
Taluk in the north to Kodungalloor in the south, had registered a large no. of cases
relating to smuggling and trafficking. In fact it has been identified as a transit
point for contraband and drugs. The districts hilly hinterland bordering the
Western Ghats are vulnerable areas as far as drugs are concerned.
The Central Board of Excise & Customs failure to operationalise Customs
Preventive Commissionerate in Kerala had earlier rendered the states600kilometer coastline vulnerable to smuggling and drug trafficking activities.
Enforcement agencies have sounded an alert on drug cartels using Kochi as a
transit point for smuggling heroin to Sri Lanka. It is suspected that truck carriers
from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh &Bihar arrive in the city with heroin
consignments which are in turn smuggled to Sri Lanka with the help of agents71.

EVIL EFFECTS OF DRUG ABUSEIN KERALA


Drug abuse have far reaching effects on society. It will negatively affects social,
cultural and economic development of a society. As far as the state of Kerala is
concerned, the reports and studies shows that the family structure and moral
conduct of the society have badly affected by the drug consumption.

SOCIAL EFFECTS

71 Based on a report published in the magazine Kerala calling, July 2012.

34

Drugs corrode the basic structure of a whole society, by affecting a cultured


human society in all aspects including destabilizing families, reducing human
productivity, corrupting trustworthy governments and honest police, and
demoralizing law respecting citizens. In Kerala most of the families of drug
addicts does not know even the fact that their children are addicted to drugs.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 50 to 80 percent of
child abuse and neglect cases involve substance abuse by the children's parents.
Prostitution is another social evil that have aggravated in the state due to the
increase in drug abuse.

Another effect is that, with the closing down of bars

the demand for illicit drugs has increased in the state. The studies says that the
state has been witnessing a spurt in the use of drugs, mainly ampoules of
restricted drugs, in the wake of the liquor curbs as well as tight enforcement
against drunken driving. It is feared that the situation may aggravate further with
the closure of bars and reduction in liquor supply. According to police and excise
sources, drug abuse has increased after the closure of 418 bars in April. They are
easy to consume, give prolonged kick and the police cannot easily detect them.
Till this May, the excise and police registered 939 cases under the Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances Act (592 by police and 347 by excise). Of this, over
500 cases were initiated during April-May and the majority pertained to restricted
drugs. Enforcement officials admit that this is only the tip of the iceberg as it is
very difficult to crack the well-established racket with the present infrastructure of
the enforcement agencies72.

72 Deccan chronicle, with bars shut drug abuse goes up in Kerala(news) ,august 30, 2014

35

Another evil effect of drug abuse is the increase in the number of HIV positive
patients. Injecting drug users (IDUs) 73often share needles and syringes. One HIV
positive addict in the group spreads the infection to the rest through such
exchange of needles and syringes.
INCREASE IN CRIME RATE
Increase in crime rate is another effect of drug abuse in Kerala. Particularly most
of the sexual offences happening Kerala is the result of the use of narcotic drugs
and psychotropic substances. According to the crime records Kerala possesses
first rank in registered crimes in 2012.74The innumerable reports of crimes against
children and crimes committed by children highlighted the seriousness of the
situation. The crime records shows that most of the accused persons indulged in
sexual offenses have consumed one or other kind of narcotic drugs or substances
before committing the crime.

ECONOMIC EFFECTS
Drug abuse is a social evil. It destroys not only vitals of the society but also
adversely affects the economic growth of the state because this is a trade which
generates large un-accounted money which, in turn, leads to adoption of several
means of money laundering. The money generated is used for various purposes
including anti-national and terrorist activities and even clandestine trading in arms
and ammunition. Drug trafficking activities have sharply increased over the years
73 IDUs are addicts who inject instead of smoking, snorting or orally consuming drugs
74 National crime record bureau report 2013.

36

and unscrupulous persons dealing in drugs have flourished despite hard


punishments provided under the law because they have been able to evade the
process of law. News reports shows that even in medical stores in Kerala, the
medicinal drug sellers provides highly seductive narcotic drugs without the
prescription of authorised medical practitioners. The drug mafias and rackets who
illegally trafficking and selling expensive narcotic drugs makes huge amount of
profit without even paying the tax. It is believed that the migrant workforce from
North India play an important role in smuggling medicines to Bangladesh. An
investigation by the Central Zone Drugs Control Department revealed that dailywage workers who come to Kerala are going back home with bundles of
analgesics such as codeine phosphate and dextropropoxyphene75. These medicines
are later smuggled to Bangladesh.
From the above information it is clear that the reflection of drug problems are
oblivious in the Kerala society. And the state government has vital role to play in
this context by identifying these causative aspects which drive people to abuse
drugs and substances and frame suitable measures to tackle the problem
effectively.

75 Dextropropoxyphene belongs to a group of medicines called opioids. Opioids mimic the effects of
naturally occurring pain reducing chemicals (endorphins). They combine with the opioid receptors in the
brain and block the transmission of pain signals.

37

CHAPTER IV
REMEDIAL MEASURES AND AWARENESS PROGRAMMES
TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT

We have discussed the various causes and effects of drug abuse in Kerala.
And we have seen that the children and adolescents are the most affected by drug
abuse.

They use drugs for many reasons - peer pressure, academic failure,

ignorance of the consequences, curiosity and fun, easy availability of the drugs,
stress, lack of communication with parents, low self-esteem, free money,
depression- the list is endless.
In the state, the state police and the state excise officers are involved in
drug law enforcement as well as in identification and destruction of illicit opium
and cannabis crops. The Social Welfare Department of the state is responsible for
drug demand reduction activities at the state level whereas the treatment of addicts
through state government hospitals is taken up by the Health Department. State
government ensures that all treatment centers meet the respective minimal
standards and that treatment programmes are complemented by rehabilitation and
social re-integration programmes. Similarly it is the joint responsibility of Central
Government and state drug controllers to take steps to implement international
standards in the prescription requirement for pharmaceutical preparations
containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance. The Narcotics Control
Bureau at the national level co-ordinates with the state government. In Kerala also
the police, excise officers and the Forest Department, along with the departments
of Health and Social Welfare, wage the war against drug related crimes.

38

AWARENESS PROGRAMMES OF EXCISE DEPARTMENT.


The Excise Department has come out with a number of programmes,
campaigning against drug abuse and alcoholism. Such as Posters containing
messages of drug abuse and anti-alcoholism flex boards, banners, leaflets etc., are
being exhibited and circulated. Seminars and public meeting are being conducted
with the active co-operation of political workers, social workers and other Local
Self Government Departments in the selected places / centers. With the active cooperation of the Educational Institutions, seminars, slide shows, essay
competition, drawing competition etc are being conducted and experts such as
psychologists, doctors, social workers, are taking awareness classes for the
students of High Schools and Colleges. Project reports are being received from
Health

Department

for

commencing

de-addiction

centers

in

Kollam,

Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasaragod and Palakkad


district Hospitals with the support of Excise Department.

AWARENESS PROGRAMMES OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT


The Department of Education has seriously taken up the cause of drug
abuse through the forum, Vidyalaya Jagratha Samithi, which is into its fifth year
of existence now. As a part of its Sneholsavam programme for the year2012-13,
it has ventured out to spread the message against the abuse of drugs among
students and encourage them to consistently adhere to the path of righteousness.
Everything is viewed as collective responsibility of all sections of people in the
society.

39

CLEAN CAMPUS SAFE CAMPUS


The government of Kerala has launched several awareness programmes to
curb and control the aggravating problem of drug abuse among children and
adolescents.
As the use of narcotic products such as marijuana and ganja is found high
among students, Government of Kerala recently-launched a new programme
named Clean Campus Safe Campus. The project is intended to make the
campuses free from drug abuse and will be a countervailing force. This is a joint
movement initiated by Home, health and Education departments. The project,
launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on July this year, aims at total
eradication of substance abuse among students. The programme includes various
awareness programmes through media, including videos. The drive will seek
support from Students Police Cadets, NCC, Scouts and Guides, school PTAs and
local bodies. The Home Department and the police will take strong steps to
crackdown on those who propagate banned tobacco and narcotic products 76.
The implicit purpose of this campaign is to nurture a healthy, happy and
productive future citizens of the State. The prime purpose is to carve out a healthy
society through children and students. The campaign seeks to achieve this
objective through the tried and tested method of intervention through education
institutions. The purpose of this campaign is not only mere prevention in the use
of narcotic substance but also make the campus free of all addictive substances.
Implementation of legal provisions to protect children from narcotic substances,
7671 Kerala calling, magazine, July 2014, p.14

40

creating awareness and raising learning atmosphere are some of the enshrined
goals of this campaign.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
The government has decided to constitute a three-tier monitoring
committee to implement the Clean Campus, Safe Campus project. The structure
will consist of school, district and state-level monitoring committees. The head of
the institution will serve as the chairperson of the school-level committee, while
the district collector will chair the district-level committee. The state-level
committee will be chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home
Department.

OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN


To ensure better and effective enforcement of the NDPS Act, COTPA Act
200377, Motor Vehicle Act 1988, Act, ABKARI Act 200378, Kerala police Act
2011, Juvenile Justice Act 2010 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences
Act (POSCO) Act 2012 etc. in and around the premises of the educational
institution with active participation of all stake holders.
To create an invisible firewall around our children protecting from the
nefarious activities of antisocial elements.
To prevent and control socially deviant behavior, including criminal offences
and substances use including tobacco, alcohol, and other harmful substance
among children and students.
7772 The cigarettes and other tobacco products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and
commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003

78 The abkari (amendment) act, 2010

41

To provide students a caring, safe and nurturing environment in school.


To early detect socially deviant behavior among students and to take corrective
measures.
To motivate and enable parents, teachers and society to seriously take their
responsibility towards children.
To ensure better coordination and participation of various government
department like police , social welfare and education, various non-government
organizations and academic institutions in the above activities.
To protect children from physical and sexual abuse effectively check and
restrict availability of Objectives of the campaign pornographic material to
children and student.

ROLE OF MEDIA
Media has substantial role in reaching and persuading people to adopt new
healthier life style. Medias including visual media, Newspapers, social networking
sites, Radio and broadcasting etc have the duty to shape public opinion for a
common cause. This duty of the media can be used for making aware of the
people of social evil in which they are addicted to. Considering the case of drug
abuse in Kerala media have played tremendous role in bringing about the problem
of increasing incidents of drug addiction in to the notice of government and alert
the public about the seriousness of the problem. Both TV channels and
newspapers have conducted campaigns among people through their reports.
Campaigns in socio networking sites have helped to make awareness among
youth.

ROLE OF NGOS

42

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are institutions, recognized by


governments as non-profit or welfare oriented, which play a key role as advocates,
service providers, activists and researchers on a range of issues pertaining to
human and social development. NGOs have played a critical role in promoting
and facilitating health and educational activities in India as well as Kerala. The
programmes and activities of mental health Non governmental organisations
helps the government in rehabilitating the victims and offenders of drug abuse and
make him a normal man useful to the society. The activities and programmes of
mental health NGOs includes treatment care rehabilitation, community-based
activities, research and training, advocacy and empowerment etc 79. MHNGOs
have made tremendous strides in mental health promotion and care, against
massive odds ranging from low awareness about mental illness to lack of
motivation donors. The mental health NGOs like Social Education & Welfare
Association (SEWA), The Punarjani in Thrissur, Arpan in Trivandrum etc are
playing tremendous role in organizing mental care activities in different areas of
the state.

From the above study it is apparent that the government have started
looking in to the problem of increasing drug abuse in Kerala seriously by taking
effective measures such as conducting wide campaigns in schools and colleges,
and arresting offenders in connection with selling of drugs. In addition to the
measures taken by the government, the media and a number of NGOs have also
79 R. Thara, Vikram Patel, Role of non-governmental organizations in mental health in India,
www.indianjpsychiatry.org

https://

43

been participated in making the public aware of the far reaching ill effects of drug
abuse and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs in the state. Even though the
campaigns and activities started by the government and the media have been
implemented successfully, in order to get the good fruits of these newly launched
programmes, it has to be followed up in the subsequent years.