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Drug Abuse and Crimes: Can the Society Break this Connection with the Help of Laws

In recent years India is facing a major problem with the illicit use of drug, drug trafficking, consuming and so on. It is a complex phenomenon which has various social, cultural, biological, geographical, historical and economic aspects. The processes of industrialization, urbanization and migration have led to loosening of the traditional method of social control. The spread and entrenchment of drug abuse needs to be prevented.

There exists a close relation between drug abuse and crime. Use of drugs affects a person’s brain and behaviour; most people are usually under the influence of the drug while committing crimes. There are increased chances of committing domestic violence or suicide under the influence of drugs. Drug abusers commit crimes to pay for their drugs. The sole aim of the research is to find out the generic answer on it and how can laws be made and used to placate their effects. The researcher believed that improvement in the systems can yet be made.


DRUG- A drug is any substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, suppository, or dissolution under the tongue. [1]

The word “drug” relates not to any one particular kind of drug but to various kinds of narcotic substances, which may differ from one another in its effects both qualitatively and quantitatively. The international convention on Drugs to which India is a signatory has classified drugs into two categories. Such as Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances.

Drug abuse, especially among adolescents is a major area of concern in today’s society given its effect on the physical, psychological, moral, and intellectual growth of the youth. There are over 190 million drug users around the world and the problem has been increasing at alarming rates.

Drug abuse happens when an individual uses legal or illegal substances in improper ways for example, by taking overdoses or taking prescriptions given to another person. That is, drug abuse need not always be about heroin, cocaine or other illegal drugs. One can abuse and get addicted to prescription medicines, nicotine, caffeine, sedatives, opioid painkillers and cough syrups, and even inhalants like glue, paint thinners and spray paints.

Drug addiction is the compulsive use of psychoactive drugs, to the point where the user has no effective choice but to continue use. Drug addiction has two components: Physical dependency and Psychological dependency.

1)Physical dependency occurs when a drug has been used habitually and the body has become accustomed to its effects. The person must then continue to use the drug in order to feel normal or its absence will trigger the symptoms of withdrawal.

2)Psychological dependency occurs when a drug has been used habitually and the mind has become emotionality reliant on its effects, either to elicit pleasure or believe pain and does not feel capable of functioning without it. Drug Addiction or habitual use of any chemical substance has altered states of body or mind for other than medically purposes.[2]

Drugs affect the brain and its functions like judgment, decision-making, memory and ability to learn. It also affects behaviour leading to damaging and self-destructive behaviours. People who regularly use drugs damage their family and social relationships, do poorly at work and create physical hazards. Drug abuse by an individual can affect psychological wellbeing of family member, especially children and make them more prone to substance-abuse disorders. It produces huge costs for the society and the individual in terms of loss of productivity, increase in social disorder and crimes, transmission of infectious diseases and long-term health hazards. The intake of drugs like heroin through the IV route increases the incidence of disease like HIV, hepatitis B and C, thus burdening the health-care system. People who use drugs are more likely to cause accidents and commit suicides. They also face financial problems and legal issues.

In a survey conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice, a sizeable number of individuals were found to be using Psychotropic drugs and substances which was about 1.08% of 10-75-year-old Indians (approximately 1.18 crore people) of the Indian population. The report also stated that Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat were the top five states using drugs in form of sedatives of Inhalants.[3]


To diagnose the problem of drug abuse To understand the explanations for substance abuse and white plague in India To investigate the government policy regarding drug abuse To study the factors of prevention programmed to solve the problem of drug abuse.

Research Methodology

The researcher applied a fully doctrinal research method. The Researcher cannot select the Non doctrinal research because there's no chance to realize a transparent cut, real and excellent information in survey method or questionnaire method.


The researcher depends upon the collected materials and secondary data only.


The drug problem is during a very high rate in India. There is a question that- is there a Drug problem? Or is it only a drug law problem. The problem is that each one drugs aren't alike. Therefore, the problems are not alike. Alcohol abuse shouldn't be confounded with drug addiction. It is a try to attempt to explain the history, psychology, sociology and economics of the utilization and misuse of each and each habit of it, what we recognize because the drug problem. The researcher is looking for essential principles and generic answers on it.

The role of the family in drug addict’s life:

When there is an addict in the family, the natural order of things is upending. Rules and boundaries that help a family function well is bent or abandoned outright in response to the addict’s disruptive presence. With time and energy spent covering up for the addict or trying to control his behaviour or drug use, family members lose their way. [4]

Family is a first seminary for the child and child learn most of thing such as value system, moral and social knowledge etc. and at that time if child’s social and family environment is not good so child would be a negative personality development and he go throw bad thing.

Families strive to find the best ways to raise their children to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and others, including the abuse of prescription drugs. Research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has shown the important role that parents play in preventing their children from starting to use drugs.[5]

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2000 report that Many people have addictions as moral problems that the result from a lack of willpower, negative breeding of family, bad social environment or the motive less acts of persons unwilling to change, become responsible citizens and lifestyle or conscious choice and believe that if people choose to engage in these behaviours’, they can decide to stop. Many people with drug disorders have a family history of these problems, suggesting a genetic tendency. Growing evidence indicates that genetics and abnormal neurotransmitter systems (brain chemistry) play a part in substance use disorders.

Reasons of Drug abuse

There is no single reason or cause for drug abuse. It is varied. There are various causes which are divided into 6 categories such as economical reason, medical reason, social reason, psychological reason, socio-cultural reason and other reasons.

A) Economical reasons: -

1) Rapid Industrialization and urbanization – It’s a new way of life. With new values like permissiveness. Many causes of drug or alcohol addicts arise after apparent failure in business or professional life.

2) Economic liberalization, social change and changes in drinking patterns – The impact of globalization and economic liberalization, rapid socio-economic transition has influenced a widespread attitudinal shift to greater normalization of alcohol use.

3) Unemployment - It is an important factor contributing to drug and alcohol addiction especially among youths. Increased rate of unemployment, are projected to occur in the same age group as those people most likely to use drugs and have drug problem.

4) Lack of productive employment and impact on the workplace – Drug abuse represents difficult problem for employers because they are under competitive pressure to increase output. At the same time, these employers must respond to critical human resource issue to continue in business. Illicit drugs as well as tobacco, alcohol creates significant problems. Thus, the drug problems are a major concern to employer, workers, enterprisers and their representatives.

B) Medical reasons:

1) To escape from painful illness - People often take drugs for relief from painful illness and ultimately get addicted to it. Besides there are some addicts whose neurological heritage is such that they find it difficult to survive without the use of alcohol or narcotic drugs and this ultimately makes them habitual alcoholics or drug addicts.

2) Dishonest Doctors – There is a bigger problem of the honesty of doctors and pharmacists. The temptation to supply illicit drugs or prescriptions for cash will be enormous. The profits are likely to be even greater than for regular drug dealers.

3) The recent development in pharmaceutical and medical sciences – The developments in pharmaceutical and medical sciences have provided scope for production of a variety of toxic synthetic substances. This has contributed substantially to drug abuse and addiction.

C) Social reasons:

1) Lack of parental care and control – The lack of parental care and control partly due to working situation of both spouses and disintegration of joint family system are also contributory factors to encourage this problem. It is more common among the middle, upper middle and high economic class families.

2) Frustration and emotional stress – Frustration and emotional stress due to failures, sorrows or miseries of life diverts people to join the company of addicts. For them drug or alcohol is a medicine. Timely, they become more and more addicted.

3) Hippie culture – Hippie culture also detracts youngster to drug addiction and they start it as a fun or enjoyment. They start consuming drugs or alcohol as an experiment basis out of fun enjoyment. The frequency of consumption gradually increases due to its narcotic effect and finally a good majority of them turn out to be drug addicts and habitual.

4) Communication gap between Parents and young – Communication gap between Parents and young addicts are also contributory factor for drug abuse and alcoholism.

5) The faith of people who do manual work – The people who do manual work often before that use of drug such as alcohol, opium, ganja etc. provides them added strength and vigour to with stand hard labour. This false idea of physical vitality by use of alcohol or narcotic drugs ultimately makes them confirmed addicts.

6) Social disorganization – Social disorganization is also a contributory factor for drug abuse or misuse. Frequent family quarrel/conflicts and break downs due to poverty temperamental differences, neighbourhood influence etc. may divert a person to alcohol or drug consumption.

7) In order to reduce unpleasant anxiety and depression feelings – These feelings are generally due to the human condition, human being’s anxiety, feeling of fear and uncertainty.

D) Psychological reasons:

1) The lack of knowledge of child psychology – The lack of knowledge of child psychology is one of the factors for drug abuse and alcoholism.

2) In order to increase psychophysical performances –By reducing unpleasant bodily sensations like pain, insomnia, and tiredness or by overcoming physiological needs like sleep and hunger.

E) Socio-cultural reasons:

1) The main cause of socio-cultural factor – Long tradition of general cultural acceptability of drug use exist in many states of our country; social events, celebrations and festivals have made use of them. Such additional factors as beliefs that the drugs cure diseases relieve hunger and increase sexual pleasure as well as the relaxation.

F) Various causes:

There is no single reason or cause for drug abuse. It is varied. Most of the addicts start using drug in rout of curiosity, strong desire to get knowledge, they are curious about the effects, easily availability of the drugs, they want some kind of experience, they enjoy the short-term effects, their friends use them “Dance drug” are a part of their life, local youth culture, as part of growing up they might want to break the rules, to overcame boredom, under the influence of their friends and peer group, lack of love and understanding.

Thus, the process of alcoholism and drug addiction sets in when a person knowingly or unknowingly begins to assume alcohol or narcotic drug as a medicine for work or to get relief from domestic problems or to repress depression resentment or to get rid of disturbing mental restlessness and so on. He prefers to remain in the world of imagination rather than facing realities of life. Gradually he becomes addicted to alcohol or drug consumption and his dependence on these intoxicants increased at a relatively faster rate finally he reaches a stage when he cannot live without wine or drug since it becomes his life habit. In modern times addiction has affected the Indian society to such an extent that even journalists, politicians, educationists etc. have started talking about this problem particularly in college campuses. Among the youth, there is almost always deterioration in the normal daily functioning sleeping late, mood changes, deterioration in academic performance, behaviour problems such as aggression rebelliousness’ and hyperactivity lack of concentration and so on are often ignored by family members as signs of adolescence rather than symptoms of addiction. To sustain their habit with which they become preoccupied addicts often lie, steal and manipulate family members. [6]

Correlation of Drug Abuse and Crime

There exists a close relation between drug abuse and crime. Use of drugs affects a person’s brain and behaviour; most people are usually under the influence of the drug while committing crimes. There are increased chances of committing domestic violence or suicide under the influence of drugs. Drug abusers commit crimes to pay for their drugs. For example, heroin is a costly drug and the increase in its use has resulted in rise of economic crimes such as snatching, robbery, and theft. Also, drug users are not hired for works and jobs which force them to take up crimes and illegal activities like smuggling, prostitution and drug trafficking to meet their needs. Drug trafficking, its illegal production and distribution have also contributed to crime and violence worldwide. Drug abuse among teenagers and adolescents has resulted in an increase in delinquency.

Post arrest criminals and offenders are not given adequate or proper treatment. This results in them relapsing to drug abuse and continuing criminal activities. Treatment is the most effective way to reduce drug abuse and thus criminal activities.

Drug causes crime -:

At present, a large percentage of today’s crimes are drug related. We may categories drug related crimes as follows –

1) Offences against the drug laws themselves.

2) Offences committed by drug dealers

3) Offences committed by drug users to support their drug habits.

4) Offences committed by drug users under the influence of medicine.

5) Illicit Drug Trafficking in India Thus drug abuse is a social evil.

It destroys not only vitals of the society but also adversely affects the economic process of the country because this is often a trade which generates large unaccounted. Money, which, in turn, results in adoption of several means of cash laundering. The money generated is employed for various purposes including anti national and terrorist activities. Drug Trafficking activities have sharply increased over the years, even as any virus, use of medicine and drug traffic knows no bonds or limitations. It spread all over country from nation to nation; to the entire globe infecting every civilized society irrespective of caste, creed, culture and the geographical location. In recent times, there has been significant development of the communication system and means of transportation. This has also led to considerable increase in Narcotics drug traffic. The drug traffics are ready to flourish despite stringent punishments provided under the “Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act”. They are ready to evade the method of law and cause great harm to the social and economic process of the country and particularly the young generation. This resulted in seriously hampe ring the socio-economic process and multidimensional development of the country. The punishment for drug traffic become more and more stringent by the passage of your time but it's not been ready to provide real solution to the essential problem. India has long recognized the issues of drug traffic and abuse. The opium Act of 1857 and of 1878, the damaging Drugs Act 1930, the Narcotic Drugs and psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 [7] is gone by Indian parliament as a comprehensive legislation on narcotics providing for stringent and future prison sentences and heavy fines for offenders. Offender under this Act includes the cultivator, supplier, seller also because the drug consumer. Bail provisions is very stringent. The minimum sentence is ten years. The amended drugs and cosmetic Act and Rules also provide for deterrent punishment and stringent control over manufacture sale, distribution of psychotropic substances. Despite these measures, the crime is on vice. The government has fixed the number possessed for private use as an offence and provided a punishment for possession of quantities beyond such limits. One of the criticisms to this provision brought by way of amendment is that the quantity fixed is so small that it may not suffice for even a single use which such provision makes it difficult for drug addicts to openly seek medical help and rehabilitation. The steep minimum sentence is also one of the causes of low conviction rate under the Act. Thus, illicit drug traffic is so complex in nature that it involves an outsized sort of drugs from many sources throughout the planet. It not only violates national drug laws and international conventions but also involves several other allied activities like racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and corruption, tax-evasion, illegal money translation, violation of import and export laws, crimes of violence and terrorism. The wide selection of illegal and criminal activities related to illegal drug traffic poses a threat to enforcement agencies throughout the world. [8]

Laws relating to Drug Abuse in India

In 1930, the Dangerous Drugs Act was enacted to strengthen control over drugs derived from coca, cannabis and the like by regulating their cultivation, possession, manufacture and sale. The framework continues to prevail in the current legislation, giving definitions for various psychotropic substances like coca, opium, hemp, etc.

Later the Drugs and Cosmetics Act was adopted in 1940 to regulate the manufacturing and sale of medicinal drugs including cannabis and opium. With the adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1950, Drug Laws got a completely new dimension by virtue of Article 47 which specifically states that State must bring about prohibition of the consumption of drugs except for medicinal purposes. Even under the Directive Principles of State Policy provisions for drug policies are justified. The Constitution also placed matters of “Drugs and poisons” in the concurrent list, allowing both centre and states to legislate. India is a party to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Following these, the Indian Parliament passed the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 replacing the Opium Acts and the Dangerous Drugs Act. It was enacted in order to provide adequate penalties for drug trafficking, strengthen enforcement powers, implement international conventions to which India was a party, and enforce controls over psychotropic substances. Certain amendments were made in the Act, in 1989, 2001 and more recently in 2014. The Act prohibits cultivation, production, sale, purchase, and consumption of psychotropic substances except for medical needs. [9]

The NDPS lays down procedures for search, seizure and arrest of persons in public and private places and also contains provisions to regulate drugs. Punishments are given on the basis of the quantity of drugs involved that is, small, intermediate or commercial. Small quantity attracts punishment of maximum one-year rigorous imprisonment or a fine up to Rs 10,000 or both and intermediate quantity attracts punishment of rigorous imprisonment that may extend to 10 years and fine that may extend to Rs 1 lakh while for commercial quantity, the punishment is rigorous imprisonment from 10 years to 20 years and a fine from Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakhs. However, a person arrested for minor offences like consumption and those involving small quantity is entitled to bail. The act used to give death penalty for certain repeat crimes involving a large quantity of drugs. Later, through the 2014 amendment death penalty under Section 31A of NDPS Act was incorporated with an alternative of imprisonment for 30 years under Section 31 of NDPS Act. With respect to treatment the NDPS act allows governments and organizations to allocate funds (National Fund) and set up treatment centres. Courts can also divert people in small quantity offences to treatment.[10]

Though being predominantly punitive in nature, the Act also holds provisions to regulate drugs manufacturing and sale. It empowers the central and state governments to frame rules and authorize drug-related activities for medical and scientific purposes. This way India has formulated and enacted various statutes starting with the constitution to manage and control Drug Abuse, punish the violators and most importantly placate the effects of substance abuse in the country. [9]

The most recent legal case on drug possession was of an actor who was questioned by the Narcotics Control Bureau in connection with her alleged involvement in a suspected drug abuse angle in the SSR Death case, and her remand.

Steps taken by appropriate authorities in cases of Drug Abuse

India is witnessing a sudden rise in the cases of drug abuse and for this reason, both the Central and State Governments are trying to take strict measures to control such acts of abuse and freed Indian youths of its clutches. Some of the major steps taken by the Indian Authorities are as follows:

  1. Ministry of Social Justice has issued an advisory which advises the states to prepare an Action Plan, for sensitization and preventive education programmes in schools and college to make the Indian youth aware of the consequences of Drug Abuse.

2. The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is celebrated on 26th June every year to sensitize the people about the ill effects of drug abuse.

3. Scheme for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse has been established by the central government which provides financial assistance for running and maintaining Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts.

4. Several de-addiction centres have been established by the Central Government to help the victims of Drug Abuse and bring them out of their abused states.

5. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment undertakes a National level Survey in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS, and New Delhi to estimate the number of individuals who are suffering from substance use disorders.

The entire role of legislation in India is directed against illicit trafficking in drug and alcoholic substances. The machinery utilized for the purpose at control level includes the department of customs, central excise narcotics commissioner, central bureau of Investigation, central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Border security force and Drug controller. At state level the state excise police and drug control authorities control the menace of drug addiction and alcoholism. A central authority called the Narcotic control Bureau with a wide range of functions has been setup.

The main functions of the bureau are:

1)Co-ordination of all enforcement actions by various central and state authorities.

2)Implementation of counter measures against illicit drug trafficking under international protocols, conventions and treaties.

3)Assistance to the concerned authorities in foreign countries.

The Narcotic control Board (NCB) in India has suggested that person convicted of drug crimes should automatically forfeit any property he or she acquires with illegal drug money. The NDPS Act has provided for the establishment of special courts for expeditious trial of drug addicts and traffickers. Particularly, the problem of use and abuse of drugs and trafficking in drugs has wide ramification. The organized criminal gangs in smuggling of drugs operate across national frontiers. The problem of drug addiction and abuse is a complex problem besides the legislative measures, there is need of some more remedial measures to help, to a large extent in preventing this evil. There is need to evolve an effective control mechanism to check unrestricted production of drugs and their sale in open market. The present licensing system has proved inadequate in exercising proper control on the producers of drugs especially cannabis and alcohol. Lack of proper enforcement and implementation of related legislation on drugs has resulted into steady increase in drug and alcohol menace. For this purpose, there is greater need of public support and co-operation through active publicity programmers. The police are primarily conceded with the control of crime and the maintenance of law and order. [11]

Therefore, he plays a vital role in criminal Justice system including crime control and prevention of crime. The recent criminalization of politicians provides undesirable protection to professional offenders and all sorts of pulls and pressure are exerted on the police to be lenient with the offender and sometimes they are even compelled to drop the proceedings against the criminal. This has demoralizing effect on police force which goes to the advantage of offenders. There is general tendency on the part of courts to look with suspicion the evidence put forth by police. The rehabilitation and social reintegration of an addict is the mainstay of any such initiative. Therefore, all programs for treatment of addict must compulsorily integrate into delivery system, programmers for psycho-social counselling of the addicts and his family/peer groups programmers for vocational training/rehabilitation and comprehensive program for after care and follow up. To attain all these objectives, all centres are equipped with a experts from various fields including doctors, counsellors, community workers, social workers etc. Thus, it is a multidisciplinary approach being applied according to the needs of individual cases.


A) Drug abuse is a psycho – socio medical problem which need to be treated in the entirely of the life situations in the addicts. The basic objective in creating facilities for voluntary organizations is to ensure that the support of the family and the community through social welfare organization at the local level should mobilized to the maximum. The methodology aims at strengthening the family as a unit and seeks to generate cooperation through social workers in motivating addicts to accept detoxification and maintain there after a drug free life. To maintain a drug free life, the best remedy is to educate people about the harmful effects of drug addiction and consumption of liquor. This kind of education would be most beneficial for the adolescents and school or college going students. The voluntary social organizations and mass media can also usefully impart this education Scientifically correct knowledge and education about evil effects of intoxication and drug addiction should in fact, form a part of regular curriculum at the school level.

B) According to the researcher prevention is the most effective approach to combating the drug abuse problem. Therefore, the state govt. should develop prevention programs at all level means

1) family programs – It should develop family bounding and relationships parental skill, Practice in developing discussing and enforcing family polices on substance abuse and training in drug education and information.

2) School programmes – to address risk factors for drug abuse such as aggressive behaviour poor, social skills and academic difficulties. Also, to focus on the following skills such as

∙ self-control

∙ emotional awareness

∙ communications

∙ social problem- solving.

For middle or junior high and high school students to develop following skills such as

∙ study habit and academic support

∙ communications

∙ self-efficacy and assertiveness

∙ Drug resistance skills

∙ Strengthening of personal commitments against drug abuse

3) Community programme – To develop multiple base programs such as schools, clubs, faith-based organization & the media are the most effective.

C) According to Researcher there is need to develop research programmes and has collected considerable social data on addicts and follow up studies and engaged in experimentation

D) To develop Health legislation – it includes a vast range of laws dealing with quality of lives issues offering the health and welfare of people. With the advancement of medicine and public health technologies, Health law is very necessary

E) To change the existing law – There is need to change the existing laws. There is need of implementation of existing laws with greater precision. All departments of the state are expected to work in unison and with almost co-ordination. To establish special drug court – to process the load of drug cases. Because at each step they divert the time energy. Intelligence surveillance, seizure prosecution and adjudication, sentencing, prison probation and parole all of these measures may need to become specialized to deal with the complexity and volume of drug cases therefore special drug courts needed to process the load of drug case.



[2] Drug abuse in India – an analysis Dr. Sandhya T. Gadakh


[4] accessed on 21July, 2016

[5] accessed on 24July, 2016

[6] Dr. Vivek Benegal, India Alcohol and Health Policy;

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health –2004

B. M J publishing- Group ltd, Tobacco control 2005, an article

Dr. Pratik Dixon, The Truth About Drugs

De-addiction center – Bangalore.

Hope Trust Hyderabad – rehabilitation and Research Centre for Alcohol and Drug Dr. Vivek Benegal – India Alcohol and Health

[7] (

[8] An article, Drug Trafficking in India, dated29th Nov.2011



[11] www.narcoticsindia.nic.i :




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