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Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances: Overview Terminology

The terms narcotic drug and psychotropic substance do not have universally accepted definitions. The word "narcotics" derives from the Greek word "narkoticos," which means numbing or deadening. The term 'narcotic' refers to a class of drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, causing insanity or stupor. The term "narcotic" as it is commonly used refers to opioids, which include opium, its derivatives, and semi-synthetic or fully synthetic replacements.

Particular compounds classified as narcotic drugs under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the NDPS Act are not narcotic drugs pharmacologically, but rather belong to certain classes of psychoactive substances such as stimulants, hallucinogens, and so on. For instance, cannabis and cocaine are covered by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. They are categorized as narcotic drugs under the NDPS Act. However, they are not classified as narcotics pharmacologically. While cocaine is classified as a stimulant, cannabis is classified as a separate class of substance. It is more closely related to hallucinogens than to opioids.

The term psychotropic drug derives its connotation from historical rather than pharmacological sources. The drugs classified as psychotropic substances in either the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances or the NDPS Act share no common qualities that distinguish them from the group of narcotic drugs. International concern over the rise of poisoning cases caused by amphetamines, a class of stimulants used in many regions of the world, prompted the establishment of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

The Drug Problem And Its Consequences:

Health Effects:
When abused, narcotics and psychotropic substances, which are necessary for the treatment of pain and other ailments in humans, are detrimental to individuals, nations, and humanity as a whole. Drug misuse has a plethora of negative health repercussions.

  • physical and psychological dependence;
  • acute poisoning and customer death.
  • unsanitary injection behaviors that contribute to the spread of hepatitis B and    HIV/AIDS.
  • structural damage to the brain (e.g., as a result of chronic cocaine or methamphetamine use);
  • damage to other organs;
  • deteriorating family relationships;
  • decreased performance at school or job;
  • unwanted and/or unprotected sexual behavior; and
  • violence and run-ins with the law.

Along with the injury to the abuser's health, the abuser's harm may spread to those closest to him or her, such as the spouse, parents, and children. Unknowingly, a pregnant woman who consumes drugs may endanger the fetus.

Economic consequences:
The economic repercussions of substance usage are numerous. Drug usage impairs one's ability to perform efficiently. Absenteeism, accidents, and health care costs all have a detrimental influence on a nation's economy.

One of the most significant social and economic consequences of drug misuse is crime, which requires society to expend scarce resources on preventing and controlling.
Globalization and economic liberalization have exacerbated the global phenomena of rising drug usage and trafficking:
Advances in communication, information technology, and transportation have enabled information, services, goods, and people to travel at breakneck speeds across boundaries. Innovative ways are used to transport drugs and the money produced by drug trafficking. The use of the internet for criminal drug misuse and trafficking operations complicates the mission of law enforcement officials.

Indian Situation
India has a long history of abusing traditional illicit narcotics such as ganja (cannabis) and raw opium. In all regions of the country, but particularly in some states such as Rajasthan, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, the usage of these narcotics has cultural implications. During British control, this historical and cultural abuse took on epidemic proportions. During the British era in India, the state-run monopoly on opium poppy cultivation and production was used to increase government revenue at the expense of the Indian people's health and morality.

The British Government maintained that opium consumption was generally harmless to members of the Indian populace who engaged in it and that modest consumption of opium in India was justified due to the country's hot heat and prevalence of malaria. The Royal Opium Commission and the Indian Hemp Commission served as instruments to bolster the British Indian Government's propaganda, despite the fact that medical opinion throughout the world, public opinion in India, and the views of great leaders such as Tagore and Gandhiji held opposing views.

With the advent of liberty and the ratification of a new Constitution, the Government's perspective on the issue shifted. Article 47 of the Indian Constitution directs the government to work toward the prohibition of intoxicating beverages and health-harming medicines except for medical purposes. In 1959, except for certified opium users, the sale and consumption of opium were forbidden, and in 1989, non-medical use of cannabis was prohibited, in accordance with the mandate of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which India is a party.

The Golden Crescent And The Golden Triangle

The economic benefits received by criminal cartels are staggering and exorbitant. Nearly 90% of the world's illicit opiates - opium and its refined derivative heroin - originate in the Golden Crescent and 'Golden Triangle, both of which are geographically adjacent to India. India's geographical location sandwiched between the world's two major illicit drug sources (the Golden Crescent, which includes Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Golden Triangle, which includes Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand), the transit trafficking of drugs originating in those areas, and the spill-over drug addiction problem are all cause for grave concern.

According to informed estimates, the criminal cartels' overall revenue is around US S 400 billion. This is around 8% of overall international trade. The domestic wholesale price of heroin is believed to be US $ 2870 per kg in one of India's neighboring countries; yet, when it reaches the streets of the United States, it is said to cost the US $2,90,000 per kg. Cocaine, which sells for the US $ 1500 per kg in Bolivia's criminal wholesale market, sells for the US $ 1.10,000 per kg at street outlets in the United States. This demonstrates the activity's enormous economic potential and strength.

The severity of the problem necessitates situating this serious human issue within the broader context of failed or failing states and issues of human security. Why are these stimulants still enticing the youth? What are the state's and society's insensitivities and failures that alienate and embitter the younger generation, compelling them to seek consolation in the perilous world of drugs? While the quantity of drugs confiscated has decreased over time, the number of people engaging in the operation has climbed significantly. This demonstrates a shift in the illicit trade's strategy.



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