Reports have indicated a worrying increase in the sale of recreational drugs in Kerala, the State Excise Department Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh said while speaking to the media.
Many young people turn to use such substances for thrills, but it has been noted that often times the recurrent use of recreational drugs in cases where there is an individual who is not well adjusted leads to addiction.
“High-level meetings with central agencies were held more than once in discussing the measures to curb the use of drugs. Based on the discussions, the central agencies have intensified their search at sea, check-posts, and inter-state buses,”
Another report states that there has been an increase in the number of instances where hashish oil, MDMA (also known as ecstasy) are being seized. It has also been noted that there is a significant increase in the consumption of brown sugar and heroin.
Singh said that Kerala seems to be becoming a national and international trade hub for those looking to market and transport illegal drugs. Since 2017, over 2,000 kilograms of ganja and over 60 kilograms of hashish oil have been confiscated by authorities.
Several doctors and mental health professionals have also noted that there has been a significant increase in the number of people diagnosed with substance abuse and addiction patterns.
Earlier, many experts in the state came forward to address the need for a state-run de-addiction program to be implemented as many young people were falling prey to substance abuse.
At present, a de-addiction centre has been opened in Thiruvananthapuram and officials from the state excise department are taking the efforts necessary to open two more in Kochi and Kozhikode by the end of this month.
The excise commissioner has also noted that while only 900 cases of smuggling drugs were registered in 2014, the numbers have increased over the years, with around 3000 cases being registered in 2016, indicating that there has been a spike in the use of recreational drugs in the state.