Following clamp down on peddling of traditional narcotics, drug addicts in Punjab are getting attracted to medicine-based concoctions.
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) director general Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar shared this information with Union home minister Rajnath Singh during a review meeting here on Wednesday.
Throwing light on the changing drug abuse pattern in the border state, Bhatnagar said the increase in street price of opiates due to decline in availability owing to increased law enforcement is making addicts shift to pharmaceutical preparations like Tramadol and Buprenorphene, an official press release stated.
Bhatnagar told the Union minister that apart from traditional drugs like heroin and cannabis, newer drugs that are synthetic in nature are also entering the market. Along with these, pharmaceutical drugs that are easily available and cheaper and do not fall under the purview of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act are being abused widely, stated the release.
‘Enforcement agencies making concerted efforts’
Listing steps taken to tackle drug menace in Punjab, Bhatnagar told the home minister that the state police, Border Security Force (BSF), customs and NCB have been making concerted efforts.
The BSF has augmented its manpower in border areas and increased vigil by deploying improved technical aids. Fire exchanges on the border and recovery of drugs have also acted as a deterrent for peddlers, said Bhatnagar.
The Punjab Police has established a State Narcotic Control Bureau and an apex committee under the chief minister for holistic tackling of the problem, he said. The customs has also made recoveries of drugs in border areas, said the NCB official.