Drug Menance In Punjab

Prelims level : Mains level : Paper III – Internal Security
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  • Studies point out that the number of women addicted to drugs is rising “alarmingly” in the State of Punjab.


  • The national survey on drug abuse happened around 15 years back, where there was no mention of females, but now their numbers are figuring in surveys, which itself is indicative of the rising problem of drug abuse.
  • The figure of females was 10,658, which the experts believe is “alarming” and needs to be addressed urgently.
  • Women overall may be less likely than men to develop drug-use disorders and dependence. Nevertheless, once they have initiated substance use, women tend to increase their rate of consumption of alcohol, cannabis, opioids and cocaine more rapidly than men.

Gender Impact on Drug:

  • Women with drug report more interpersonal conflicts in the family than their male counterparts, particularly issues related to parenting and exposure to childhood and adult trauma.
  • The impact of drug use tends to be greater on women, because women lack access to care for drug dependence.
  • “Economic independence, changing roles in society, entry of women into male dominated areas, economic and social emancipation, greater acceptability of social drinking and easy availability of alcohol have strongly contributed to rising incidence of alcohol consumption in women.
  • State of denial and lack of exclusive facilities are the key reasons why women are not seeking help.
  • Amid fear of stigma most women do not come forward for treatment, which means the actual numbers are likely to be higher.
  • State government has been providing various treatment options for the youth, which primarily focused only on males.


  • Punjab once known as the “Sone di Chiri”, the golden crescent is presently passing through the phase of drug abuse and drug trafficking which has rendered most of its youth to live a miserable life.
  • It has not only affected the economy of the highly prosperous state but shattered the lives of many.
  • In Punjab, in recent years, there has also been a sharp increase in the rate of HIV infections in the state. This is because the rate of injecting drug users (IDUs) is far higher here than in other states.
  • It’s paving the way for the spread of HIV and other communicable disease.

Way Forward:

  • Village Panchayats should be encouraged to implement the drug abuse prevention programmes by giving them incentives.
  • Educational institutes must depute counsellors to identify the vulnerable youth.
  • Governments must take necessary measures to check the drug trafficking across the borders.
  • Prevention is a major goal in adolescents with programs such as providing normative education and competence enhancement.
  • Centre meant exclusively for women rehabilitation, which can offer them privacy must be established.
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