Drug addiction in Punjab is a serious problem. We look at some facts and figures about addiction in the region and also the reasons behind it.

Drug Menace in Punjab Reaches Epidemic Proportionsdrugtaking punjab DRUG ADDICTION IN PUNJAB

  1. Drug addiction is a serious problem in the region of Punjab. One of India’s most prosperous states, the fertile land of the five rivers and nation’s bread basket is having to struggle with a serious problem that is now reaching epidemic proportions. So much so that drug addiction has now become a key poll issue. (Source)
  2. It is estimated that four out of ten men are addicted to some or other drug and that up to 50% of those are young farmers. While 15% of those are addicted to poppy husk (known as bhukki), 20% are addicted to synthetic drugs churned out by pharma companies in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.
  3. punjab drug addiction DRUG ADDICTION IN PUNJAB It isn’t just people from the fringes of society that are addicted, students from “good families” are often caught in the toils of drug addiction. A study by the Guru Nanak Dev University suggested that 70% of young Punjabi men could be addicted to the drugs that are easily available, particularly in areas close to the borders. (Source )
  4. Children as young as 12 years of age are seen to be involved in the drug trade. Drugs are openly sold and easily available. (Source)
  5. The reasons for widespread drug addiction in Punjab are many: unemployment and frustrated economic expectations are among the reasons. There is also the fact that pharmaceuticals such as pain relieving opioids and sedatives are easily available from chemists; without prescriptions.
  6. According to some, it is the Punjabi culture for heavy drinking and partying as well as the habit of landowners supplying raw opium to farm labourers to encourage them to work harder, that has contributed to the problem. Most rural households in the state are thought to have one addict.
  7. The fact that there is a steady supply of drugs from across the border is another reason. Heroin smuggled is in from Afghanistan and Punjab is a part of the transit route for drugs. This fact is evidenced by frequent seizures of illegal drugs by the authorities. Just before the Loksabha polls last year, Rs 800 crore woth of drugs, liquor and other narcotics were seized by poll authorities.
  8. In recent years there has also been a sharp increase in the rate of HIV infections in the state. This is because the rate of injectable drug users (IDUs) is far higher here than in other states. The national prevalence of HIV is 9% but in Punjab this number is in the region of 26%. (Source)

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