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
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:
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
- 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
- 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.
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
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.
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
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.