Rights to Health and Access to Treatment of Drug Addicted Patients in India

Author(s): Anusuya Yadav and Asha*


Introduction: India grapples with a growing drug addiction crisis, demanding both effective treatment and respect for patient’s fundamental rights. This paper states that the current system often falls short, subjecting individuals to stigma, discrimination, and violations of their autonomy. Drawing on international human rights frameworks and Indian legal statutes, it proposes reforms to ensure dignified and rights-based drug treatment. These include access to evidence-based therapies, informed consent, privacy protection, and holistic rehabilitation that tackles the social and psychological determinants of addiction. The paper emphasizes the importance of community involvement, family support, and utilizing technology to bridge geographical barriers to care. By prioritizing both healing and humanity, India can build a sustainable and empowering drug treatment system for its citizens.

Methods: The current study was conducted to search for regulations, initiatives, legislation, and official communications about substance or drug use across diverse websites belonging to various ministries of the Government of India. The review successfully pinpointed acts, programs, and policies specifically designed to address issues related to substance use.

Result: The Government of India has adopted a comprehensive strategy, encompassing various drug laws, programs, and acts, to address the acquisition, prevention, and treatment of drug use. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment serves as the central ministry overseeing efforts to reduce drug demand. Key milestones in this endeavor include the introduction of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 and the Policy of 2012, along with the execution of India’s Drug De-Addiction Program (DDAP).

Conclusion: The Government of India has achieved significant advancements in the control of drug-related issues and the reduction of demand. The introduction and evolution of various programs, acts, and statutes have played a crucial role in alleviating the overall mental health burden in the country. These policies are interconnected, exhibiting diverse implementation and coverage across different regions of the nation. Primary care physicians, mental health professionals, and stakeholders at both state and national levels must be well-informed about these policies to enhance healthcare services for individuals. Additionally, there is a need to conduct a comparative analysis of India’s drug use policies with those of other countries, offering a comprehensive perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the current Indian approaches.

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