According to a 2013 survey conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in collaboration with the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, New Delhi, in all the states and Union Territories of the nation, it was determined that Haryana the use of Cannabis among the children of Haryana was almost as high as 63.3%. This was topped only by the use of Cannabis among the children of Uttarakhand where it was 70 percent. Commonly known as Marijuana, Cannabis is consumed as Hashish, Ganja, Charas, and Bhang and is a banned substance under the narcotics acts of India. This together with reports of the usage of other prohibited drugs kicks up a major concern for the state one that threatens the health and safety of our future generations.
In 2008, the Ministry of Social Justice aligned with the United Nations International Doping Control Programme to study the drug abuse patterns in the region. The study revealed that consumption of drugs by the residents of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh was over three times above the national average. The problem has reached a public health crisis situation in Punjab, and Haryana is suffering from the spillover effect. The drug abuse situation is being egged on by alcoholism a shocking 80% of school-going children in Haryana were reported to consume alcohol in 2013. Apart from this, injecting drug use (IDU) has contributed significantly to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state. The practice of sharing injection equipment by drug users opens up among the highest risks of HIV transmission.
One of the major failures of the state government has been its inability to stem the menace of drug abuse in Haryana society. The state lacks a robust set of regulations for handling of drug addicts and for their treatment. While addicts in the state require treatment and rehabilitation, peddlers require punishment. This difference is often blurred and those requiring medication, attention, and affection are often punished. The state's support of treatment and rehabilitation centers is highly inadequate as is the ability of law enforcement to curb the cultivation and import of banned substances
Recovery and rehabilitation of drug addicts is a major challenge for the state administration one that must be taken up in partnership with NGOs battling the menace at the grass roots level and with families and social leaders such as the village panchayats. The state administration needs to set up a number of drug rehab centers across the state where anyone willing to give up usage should be able to avail free treatment and therapy including yoga, vocational training, and counselling services. Long term support for ex-addicts is important to prevent relapse. Sensitising families and social environments can be undertaken by large-scale awareness drives.
Effective prevention of the use of drugs, narcotics, and banned substances is the key to protection of the health and development of future generations. Prolonged and pronounced drug abuse is likely to erode away all the efforts we have put into building a Naya Haryana. It alone undermines all the good done in every field education, industry, healthcare, and social development. Eradicating the menace of drug abuse is a major factor that shall determine the growth and development of Haryana society.