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Changing Trends in Heroin Abuse in India: An Assessment Based on Treatment records

NCJ Number
Bulletin on Narcotics Volume: 37 Issue: 2 and 3 Dated: (April-September 1985) Pages: 19-24
D Mohan; Adityanjee; S Saxena; S Lal
Date Published
This study of drug addicts treated in the drug-abuse facilities of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences during the period from 1981 to May 1984 shows a steady increase in the number of heroin addicts who sought treatment in those facilities.
The data collected cover the distribution of heroin addicts by year, education, occupation and marital status, duration of use and amount of heroin used, and heroin abuse in combination with other drugs. The majority of heroin addicts were under 30 years old (87.6 percent), unmarried (67.6 percent), had reached either high school or college (80.0 percent) and reported having taken up to 1 gram per day (56.6 percent) of the drug for 1 year or less (63.8 percent). Heroin was mainly smoked (74.3 percent) and in some cases inhaled, sniffed, or injected. Up to 1981 there were no heroin addicts recorded in the treatment facilities. Other studies in India support this evidence. The further spread of heroin abuse may occur with geometrical progression as has happened in other Asian countries. It is likely that both domestic and international pressures will encourage more stringent legal penalties for infractions relating to opiates. The rationale for such a strategy is valid so long as the penalties are not extended to cover the vast raw-opium consuming rural population, on whom the counter-productive effects of such pressures have been demonstrated. Tables, 13 references. (Author abstract modified)


Length: 6 pages
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