India Country Profile

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Drug policy

  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has developed the Scheme of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse. Its focus is:
    1. Awareness and Preventive Education
    2. Drug Awareness and Counselling Centres
    3. Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs)
    4. Workplace Prevention Programme (WPP)
    5. De-addiction Camps
    6. NGO forum for Drug Abuse Prevention
    7. Evidence Based Interventions to strengthen community based rehabilitation
    8. Technical Exchange and Manpower development programme
    9. Surveys, Studies, Evaluation and Research on the subjects covered under the scheme.
  • There is a government unit responsible for and a budget line within the annual budget to support the prevention and treatment of SUD

Treatment and Recovery Services

  • ‘De-addiction’ centres are the primary providers of drug treatment delivery, however many of these are unauthorised and do not follow regulated or evidence based programmes
  • Services are also available through government hospitals, NGOs, psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes
  • Treatment access relies upon submission of medical reports and taking an oath not to commit drug-related offences again
  • Opioid substitution therapy (OST)
  • HIV testing
  • There are inpatient and outpatient medical detoxification services
  • At presents about 480 Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs) are supported by the Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, majorly operated by NGOs. These IRCAs provide services for identification of individuals with harmful use and dependence of any substance, motivational counselling, detoxification/de-addiction and Whole Person Recovery, after care and reintegration into the social mainstream. 

Prevention Services

  • There is a specific government department and budget set aside for substance abuse prevention strategies
  • Information on substance abuse is obligatory in school curriculum
  • There are mass media programmes promoting awareness of SUD
  • School and community based programmes educating the population about the impact of SUD
  • Harm reduction programmes include community based needle exchange intervention and outreach services for injecting drug users.
  • Rigorous imprisonment (up to 10 years) for cultivation/ embezzlement of opium cannabis or coca plants
  • 10- 20 years for trafficking or financing drug transportation
  • Addicts volunteering for treatment get immunity from some punishable offences

For more info and stats on drug use trends in India please access: The Magnitude on Substance Use in India