Delhi is ‘high’ on high-end drugs

Delhi is ‘high’ on high-end drugs

By DIBYENDU MONDAL | NEW DELHI | 11 February, 2017
Delhi Police seized 23,519 kg of Methaqualone in 2016.

The national capital is becoming a hub for new and sophisticated forms of drugs like Ephedrine, Methaqualone (MANDRAX) and heroin, and in the past 2-3 years, such drugs have become common among youngsters in the NCR.

As per data tabled in Parliament by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) earlier this week, Delhi Police had seized 316 kg of Ephedrine in 2014 which rose to 426 kg in 2016, showing an increasing trend of growing underground drug mafia network operating here in Delhi.   

The Delhi Police has also seized 23,519 kg of Methaqualone in 2016 alone and the figure has risen manifold from 2015. Only 80.51 kg of Methaqualone was seized in 2015.

Dr Rajesh, a resident doctor of an NGO working for drug rehabilitation in Delhi, told The Sunday Guardian that these are non-narcotic drugs (synthetic drugs) which are manufactured by altering chemical molecules to give different types of “high” to consumers. 

“Ephedrine is a very dangerous drug which can cause severe mental disbalance if taken in large quantities. Young adults are the ones who mostly take such drugs. These volatile substances hamper their development,” Dr Rajesh said.

These substances or chemicals which were seized by the police are used to make sophisticated drugs like “Meow Meow”, “Ecstasy“, “LSD”, among other such hallucinogens, stimulants and depressant drugs which are sold at exorbitantly high rates and are commonly used by the affluent class in the capital’s upper strata.

Dr Rajesh said that such substances, which otherwise have medicinal purposes, are misused by people when they synthesize such compounds to produce the popular Methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is known to cause euphoria, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension and nausea, while MANDRAX is a form of sleeping pills which is less commonly used in India. They are, however, manufactured in India to be illegally exported to the African countries.

He further added that presently the situation in Delhi is very grim, and almost 7% of the adult population is addicted to drugs in the capital. Most of these people come from affluent families who can get their hands on such expensive and modified mind-altering drugs, he said.

Due to the high price of such drugs, only the affluent class can afford such sophisticated drugs. One gram of “Ecstasy” can cost somewhere between Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,500, while one gram on “Meow Meow” can cost between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000, depending upon the quality and purity of the drug.

Apart from these sophisticated drugs, common drugs like marijuana (ganja), hasish and opium are also all over the place, with huge quantities of such drugs being seized last year.

A senior police official here told this newspaper: “Such high-end drugs are very rampant in Delhi and are mostly used in rave parties in high society. Not only this, you can also get such drugs delivered at your doorstep if you know somebody or you are recommended by somebody whom the dealers trust.”

The Delhi Police seized huge quantities of common drugs like marijuana (ganja), hasish, opium, etc., from the capital last year. Some 11,476 kg of marijuana was seized last year, while 246 kg of hasish was seized in the same year.

Not just Delhi, Maharashtra is also reporting increasing trends of drug abuse, coming mostly from Mumbai, where last year 44,503 kg of Ephedrine worth Rs 2,000 crore was seized. Karnataka and Manipur have also seen an increasing number of seizures of such high-end drugs.

However, surprisingly Punjab, which is “infamous” for its notorious drug activities, did not report any seizures of high-end drugs from the state. 

However, while common drugs like marijuana and hasish were still prevalent in Punjab, Delhi has reported much larger seizures in all segments of drugs than Punjab, according to the report tabled in Parliament.

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