An independent UN body report says that prescription drug abuse is on the rise in India and that the situation is serious in South Asia where the soaring drug abuse problem includes abuse of pharmaceutical preparations comprising narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent UN body, monitors production and consumption of narcotics in the world.
"Drugs enter South Asia's illicit drug markets through different channels, including diversion from India's pharmaceutical industry, illicit cultivation and/or manufacture within the region and smuggling from other countries, including Afghanistan (through Pakistan) and Myanmar," the report said.
Pharmaceutical preparations are diverted from the Indian land through illegal sources. India is trying hard but is not able to deal with this problem. These preparations are trafficked domestically or at international level, including through illegal internet pharmacies, the report said.
"There is an erroneous perception that prescription drugs are less susceptible to abuse than 'illicit' drugs," INCB President Raymond Yans said.
The report found that India is the main country from where heroin is smuggled into Bangladesh. Even the cannabis smuggled into Bangladesh mostly comes from India and Nepal.
In 2011, 528 kg heroin was seized in India, while in 2012 the figure was 853 kg. And since 2009, even the amount of opium seizures has been going up. The figure for 2009 was 1.7 tonnes and in 2012, it was over 3 tonnes.
Cocaine trafficking is also increasing alarmingly in South Asia. In India, 14 kg cocaine was seized in 2011, while in 2012, it was 42 kg.