Magnitude of Substance Use in India

Published by
Government of India Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Publication Date

Until recently the full extent of the use of substances in India has not been realised or documented.

To shed light on the issue, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerement has recently commissioned the National Survey on the Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India. The Magnitude of Substance Use in India reports the findings.

Information regarding the current use, harmful use and dependence was gathered for alcohol, cannabis, opioids, cocaine, amphetamine type substances (ATS), sedatives, inhilants and hallucinogens.

Key findings:

  • Alcohol is the most common psychoactive substance used by Indians with 14.6% of the population (aged 10-75) using it.
  • 2.8% of the population report using cannabis in the last year and 2.1% of the countries population reported using opioids.
  • The prevelance of alcohol dependence is estmated to be around 2.7% with an additional 2.5% consuming alcohol in a harmful manner.
  • Around 0.55% of Indians receive support for opioid use problems. 
  • States with high prevalence (more than 10%) of alcohol use disorders are: Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab,Chhattisgarh, and Arunachal Pradesh


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