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Global Drug Survey (GDS)

Topics covered:

  1. Issues related to health.


Global Drug Survey (GDS)


What to study?

For prelims and mains: key findings of the study, concerns raised and reforms needed.


Context: Global Drug Survey (GDS) report has been released.


About the survey:

  • The Global Drug Survey (GDS) is an anonymised online survey that uses a detailed questionnaire to assess trends in drug use and self-reported harms among regular drug users and early adopters of new trends.
  • The survey is not designed to determine the prevalence of drug behaviour in a population. It throws light on stigmatized behaviours and health outcomes of a hidden population that is otherwise difficult to reach.
  • It uses its data and expertise to create digital health applications delivering screening and brief interventions for drugs and alcohol.
  • It also produces a range of drug education materials for health and legal professionals, the entertainment industry and the general public.


Key findings on India:

  • Indians — more than from other nationalities — are seeking help to reduce their alcohol intake.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis were the most common stimulants used by Indians.
  • Of the nearly 1,00,000 respondents from 30 countries, Indians reported ‘being drunk’ on an average of 41 times in the last 12 months — behind the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia and
  • About 6% of the female Indians surveyed reported seeking ‘emergency medical treatment’ in the last 12 months. The global female average was about 13%.


Drug menace in India:

India is vulnerable to narcotic drug trafficking as it is located between two largest Opium producing regions of the world i.e. Golden Crescent in the west and Golden Triangle in the east. Drug trafficking and abuse also pose serious threat to our societies.

Estimates suggest that there are 40 lakh drug addicts in the country. The most common drugs of abuse are ‘ganja’, ‘hashish’, ‘opium’ and ‘heroin’. The abuse of pharmaceutical preparations like ‘buprenorphine’, codeine-based cough syrups and painkillers like ‘proxivon’ has also assumed serious proportions. In certain regions of the country, drug abuse has already become a severe social-economic problem affecting the vulnerable age groups.


Sources: the Hindu.