Wealth Equals Drug Abuse? Addiction in Maharashtra
From 2007 to 2010 more people registered into Maharashtra De-Addiction programmes than any other state in the country. The Union ministry of social justice and empowerment kept records on those treated and recorded close to 44,000 people.
These 44,000 represent only a fraction of those in need of treatment. Even with the available treatment, it seems the numbers of addicts aren’t decreasing. But the state is doing better than most when it comes to treating addicts.
There is a trend of addiction in Maharashtra, and it has spread beyond the main cities and into the hinterland and rural areas of the state. The trend is an epidemic of drug abuse.
Maharashtra | Wealth = Drug Abuse and De-Addiction?
Maharashtra represents the country’s second largest, and wealthiest state. Contributing 15% towards the countries industrial output, Maharashtra has the money for De-Addiction . . . and for drugs. The two often go together.
‘Applecart Syndrome’—that’s what experts are calling the way drugs are being introduced to the rural areas of Maharashtra.
Narcotics bound for urban destinations in Maharashtra or on there way to states like Goa (another wealthier state), actually fall off on the Maharashtra highways. These drugs are picked up and used by people in the area. The Applecart Syndrome has influenced districts like Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara.
Drugs like cocaine, hash, cannabis and ecstacy have a huge market in Maharashtra. But cheaper alternatives like heroin and brown sugar are the most popular in this wealthy state.
How Do We Fix Drug Addiction in Maharashtra?
Dr Yusuf Merchant has 30 years of experience working against drug addiction, he told The Times of India, “The solution will lie in reducing supply—which is essentially the job of law enforcement agencies—and reducing demand, which depend on the awareness created by media and NGOs.”
But we can’t simply wait for the government to take further action. Each one of us, you and me, have a responsibility to stay away from drugs and alcohol abuse.
We also have a duty to our brothers, sisters and friends to warn and help them.
Who do you know that needs help? Check out our directory of over 400 centres that could change your friend’s, or your life, forever.