Kathmandu, December 29: The Ministry of Home Affairs today said drug abuse had become a growing concern in society as it was affecting tens of thousands of people in the country.
Speaking at an interaction organised here today, Joint Secretary Kedar Neupane, chief narcotics officer at the MoHA, warned that young boys and girls abused drugs for many reasons and stressed the need to overcome the social and economic impact of drug abuse in family and society.
“It affects foremost the health and life of drug abusers, and the social well-being of the family and community. According to a report published by the MoHA, the types of drug abused by people have changed since the last few decades from cannabis to synthetic opiates
and chemical substances. Also, the mode of drug uses has changed from smoking or ingesting to injecting and that has become one of the major causes of HIV infection.
More common reasons for initiation of drug use could be seen as pull factor because of perceived positive outcomes of drug use. Curiosity or experimentation, for fun or peer pressure, family problem, study problem and others are leading the youngsters to drug abuse, it reported. The annual growth rate of drug users is 11.36 per cent since 2007.
The report shows that the number has nearly doubled to 91,534 in 2013 from 2007. However, Basanta Raj Kunwar, chief of Narconon Nepal, estimated that Nepal was home to over 200,000 drugs users, including 26,000 women, at present and stressed an urgency to save them.
Home ministry officials said the government in association with various governmental and non-governmental organisations had stepped up vigil on the production, possession, storage, transportation and consumption of illicit drugs to end the social problem facing the country and save the young generation from drug abuse.
DIG Thule Rai, in-charge at the Narcotics Control Bureau, said Nepal was being used by international drug trafficking rings as a transit to push hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin, to destination countries while the growing abuse of psychoactive substances and injectable drugs had emerged as a big problem in Nepal.
A version of this article appears in print on December 30, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.