Drug addiction has become a serious challenge for the government as about 7.3 crore Indians are addicted to drugs, out of which youths account for a substantial number with few of them also losing their lives at an early age.
Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda at the opening session of the three-day conference on 'drug menace in the country' in Manali, emphasized that 70% have become heavy drug addicts.
"Drug menace is a serious problem for the country as the youth are falling easy prey creating a serious challenge for health agencies. The victims and criminals involved in NDPS cases encompass the entire range of social strata of the country. From the rich and famous to the poor are found to be involved in and affected by the drug menace," he said.
A holistic approach with the support of the society to root out drug abuse and incorporating the ill effects to create awareness amongst students would be a possible way to reduce drug use.
Nadda said that community-based intervention was the need of the hour to counter the ill effects and dangers of drug abuse. The government had sanctioned Rs. 150 crore for mental illness programs and the NDA government was considering to start advanced courses in all State and District hospitals for the very purpose.
"Our security agencies alone and stringent laws can't reduce the gravity of drug marketing and smuggling in isolation," said Nadda, adding that with concerted efforts of the society, awareness programs will help in containing the drug business.