New Delhi (Sputnik): India's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has come out with startling revelations on how an alarming number of Indian youths are falling prey to substance abuse fostered by the illegal sale and trafficking of pharmaceutical drugs of psychotropic nature. The NCB's report on drug abuse trend for the year 2017 suggests that the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs-both over-the-counter and prescription is "prevalent in virtually all states of northern India."
Union Home Minister, Shri @rajnathsingh addressing at the Closing Ceremony of the 2-day National Conference on Drug Law Enforcement, organised by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), MHA, in New Delhi. The DG, NCB, Shri Abhay and Director, IB, Shri Rajiv Jain are also seen pic.twitter.com/XVTWOfgwmL— MIB India (@MIB_India) March 24, 2018
The report doesn't just counter allopathic drugs; even Ayurvedic tablets containing opium-like Kamini Vidrawan Ras, Barshasa and the like are also being consumed by the addicts.
Codeine-based cough syrups (CBCS) are the most widely-abused pharmaceutical drugs, and are trafficked to neighboring countries like Bangladesh. The report specifically names some of the CBCS brands like Corex, Phensedyl, and Recodex. Antidepressants like Alprazolam, Diazepam, Clonazepam, Lorazapam, and Benzodiazepine are also widely abused, according to the report.
"The over-the-counter sale of prescription medicine, coupled with the increasing mafia of unregistered and pirate medical production, presents a major challenge for the Indian health system. Law enforcement agencies seem clueless, but the fact remains that pharmaceutical drugs are being smuggled for purposes other than what they're meant," Dr. Nilesh Parmar, a senior health expert and student counselor told Sputnik.
At least 5,66,450 bottles of CBCS, 58,463 injections and over 6,300,000 tablets were recovered by agencies all over India in 2017, according to the NCB.