The number of alcohol and drug users in the country are skyrocketing.
A 2000-2001 government report revealed that there were 7.32 crore people in India who used alcohol and drugs. An estimated 87 lakh Indians used cannabis, 20 lakh used opiates and 625 lakh were users of alcohol.
In a written reply to a question, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir, said that the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has conducted a survey in 2000-2001 for alcohol and drug consumption patterns and trends. Ahir said:
It is estimated that about 732 lakh people in India were users of alcohol and drugs of which 87 lakh used cannabis, 20 lakh used opiates and 625 lakh were users of alcohol. Thereafter, no national survey on drug abuse has been conducted.
Ahir also revealed that in 2016, the drug enforcement agencies seized 46,873 kgs of Methaqualone and arrested twenty people, including eight foreign nationals, in drug abuse cases.
It is quite appalling to know that the numbers are from a survey which was conducted in 2000. In the last 16 years, there has been a paradigm shift in the consumption of liquor and drugs. Also, many Indians are occasional, and social, drinkers. The ambiguity of the survey to classify alcohol drinkers into habitual and social projects a false picture.