Constitutional and Legal Provisions in India against Drug addiction

India is highly vulnerable to the problem of smuggling of drugs into and out of the country. Drug addiction has emerged as a serious socio-economic problem as well as an area of concern in India. This despite the fact that there are legal as well as constitutional provisions made in India for abatement of Drug addiction:

Constitutional Provisions

Article 47 (DPSP) of our Constitution provides that “……… the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.”

Legal Provisions

  • India is a signatory to three United Nations Conventions viz.
    • Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961
    • Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971
    • Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988. Thus, India also has an international obligation to curb drug abuse.
  • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 prohibits, except for medical or scientific purposes, the manufacture, production, trade, use, etc. of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Thus the Governments’ policy has been to promote their use for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion from licit sources, and prohibiting illicit traffic and abuse.
  • Illegal cultivation of opium poppy (Papaver sominiferum) and cannabis (Cannabis sativa) are offences under the NDPS Act.
  • Matters pertaining to Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse are handled by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJE). It has also been implementing a Scheme for Prohibition and Drug Abuse Prevention since the year 1985-86.
  • The Ministry of Health, which is responsible for all health issues, runs several drug de-addiction centres in the Government hospitals across the country.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, coordinates actions by various functionaries (Central and State) under the NDPS Act.
  • The State Governments also have their own Health Departments and Social Welfare Departments each of which has its own set of activities relating to Drug Demand Reduction.


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