India Drugged: An Eye Opener by Monish Bhalla is a detailed, insightful book. It contains 9 sections that tell us about the drug menace in different states and how drug trafficking is increasing in India. It also tells about the various drug types and their effects. Where which of their crop is cultivated, NPS New Psychoactive Substances, Designer Drugs, The Onion Router(Tor), Darknet Markets, increasing cryptocurrency for marketing drugs, the art of Concealment, the K2 factor in Narco-Terrorism, Drones, the chemistry and economics of drugs.

This book highlights all the major points that every person should be aware of nowadays. The role played by drug smugglers, the method they use including technology for trafficking drugs, and the need for a multi-pronged approach to create a drug-free India.

India is still a route for increasing the supply of narcotics in the oceanic region – Australia and New Zealand and the traditional drug consumers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. But on the other side, India has become a major consumer of narcotics drugs. COVID-19 has played a crucial role in the past two years.

The various drugs were being trafficked in different states in crores, it all started in Punjab. Punjabi songs about drugs and liquor are just as popular as love songs. One of the most abused drugs in Punjab is chitta (adulterated heroine). The level of addiction within the state has reached critical levels with drug consumption worth thousands of crores.

Kerala has been known as the cooking center. It found the number of narcotic cases reported so far in the year 2022. Investigations had revealed an Italian link to the Kerala-based narcotics trafficker as well as Himachal connections. Kerala has also seen an increase in female drug users aged 22 to 25, with many of them addicted to MDMA groups. (A 13-year-old girl admitted to being used as a drug carrier by a drug Mafia in exchange for drugs like MDMA. She had made friends with the members of the drug Mafia through Instagram, highlighting the dangers of social media in facilitating criminal activities.)

In Andhra Pradesh, a novel method of drug trafficking was detected in early 2022. Under the guise of stevia leaves, 2 crores worth of cannabis (Ganja) was illegally marketed online on several e-commerce platforms using forced GSTN numbers from Andhra Pradesh to the states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

In Gujarat, it was estimated that more than 70% of total drug trafficking is being conducted through maritime routes. It has become a favored route for the smuggling of high-quality heroine intended for domestic use and other international markets. Ahmedabad police discovered a highly organized drug trafficking ring that accepted crypto-currency payments and delivered drugs by air freight couriers. They sold drugs including hybrid Ganja, American Charas, Malana Charas, and Psychotropic Magic Mushrooms, and catered to college students in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar from various institutions.

Goa has seen a lot of foreign tourists especially Russians who were known for spending a lot of money. Some tourists also get involved in illegal activities like selling drugs and online gambling. The illicit drug trade in Goa is thriving and CK1, a dangerous combination of cocaine and ketamine, is widely available on the North Goa beaches of Candolim, Baga, Calangute, Anjuna, Vegator, and Arambol and sold under the false name “blizzard” and “Calvin Klein”.

Many more States such as Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Mumbai, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nādu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Jammu, and Kashmir Chhattisgarh were involved with various types of drugs and trafficking.

There are 5 main types of drugs:

Narcotics are used for pain relief and can cause feelings of drowsiness. It makes you feel less pain and less aware of what happening around you.

Depressants slow down the central nervous system leading to relaxation or sedation.

Stimulants speed up the central nervous system resulting in increased alertness energy and focus.

Hallucinogens after perception and can cause hallucinations or changes in mood and thought patterns.

Anabolic steroids mimic the effects of testosterone promoting muscle growth and physical performance.

The author himself is a former Narcotics Control Bureau Officer. This book has been written after well-detailed research and it is a must-read book for everyone. It will make you understand the drug situation in India and the need for action. I am glad that I took this book to read as it is much helpful. It kept me hooked till the end to know more.

The writing style was gripping. The language was easy to understand but I came across new words and got to know about many new things. The title is appropriate. I would highly recommend this book to police makers, law enforcement agencies, parents, educators, and to each and every person in our nation who would willingly give their best to create a drug-free India.

Thank you.

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