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Story in numbers | Covid-19 lockdown helped Punjab fight drug addiction


Around 570,000 needed help for cannabis-related problems, while 200,000 needed help for pharmaceutical sedatives-related problems, according to the report

A view of the deseAt 11,654 cases, Punjab had the second-largest number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS) in 2018 | Representative Image

Abuse of psychotropic drugs has been Punjab’s scourge for over two decades. Opium-based drugs, such as heroin and poppy husk, cannabis, and pharmaceutical sedatives, are the most abused narcotics in the state, according to the Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India report, released in February 2019.

An estimated 720,000 people needed help for opioid-related problems in Punjab in 2017-18, stated the same report by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Around 570,000 needed help for cannabis-related problems, while 200,000 needed help for pharmaceutical sedatives-related problems, according to the report. Punjab also had the second-largest number of injecting drug users at 88,000, after Uttar Pradesh (100,000).

At 11,654 cases, Punjab had the second-largest number of cases registered under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS) in 2018, according to the latest available data from the National Crime Records Bureau. These constituted about 19% of all such cases registered countrywide.

But the lockdown may have changed that. As many as 129,000 individuals enrolled in 341 government and private de-addiction centres across Punjab over a span of 89 days ...


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