US President Donald Trump’s indication that India is one among the 21-odd countries which cultivate and are a transit point for narcotics establishes at least one point at the outset: That the shadow of drug abuse looms large across the world. It also means that India is very much a part of the international order that is committed to solve the plague of illicit drugs. Clearly, much more needs to be done in our country than to just join hands to curb the problem though that is a start. Let’s be clear, the problem is not of Punjab alone, which has earned a bad name of being the entry-point for drugs from the Golden Crescent. The drug menace is spread across India and consumption and use of designer drugs is high in metros including in Delhi. The tentacles of the drug mafia are widespread.
Governments, both at the Centre and in the States, have been pro-active if late in dealing with the situation, but the problem is so huge that it has outstripped solutions. Strict enforcement of policies or the strengthening of laws may not suffice. The need is to strike at the very root of the politician-administration-police nexus and drugs also ensure that the de-addiction facilities and helplines remain functional. While this may help solve the supply problem, the need that is to control the demand for drugs too. Society has a role to play.