Kochi is Kerala’s commercial capital and is also known as “god’s own country.” However, this beautiful city is soon on its way to becoming the next “Udta Punjab” as it has ranked third in the list of Indian cities with a drug addiction. Udta Punjab’s release has finally shed some light on issues that the government refuses to talk about. The country finally knows all about the drug menace in Punjab but they must also know how this problem is not only about Punjab, but others cities and states are also suffering from Drug addiction.
The Kerala Excise Commissioner, Rishiraj Singh said,” Kerala may find itself in the same position as that of Punjab in the next five years as far as drug abuse and trafficking is concerned, is stringent and effective measures are not taken to control the menace.” Kerala home minister, Ramesh Chennithala, last year made a statement saying that the state’s move towards prohibition has the state getting even fonder of getting high. 700 hotels have been forced to shut down while a new case is reported daily. The state even restricted alcohol to 5-star hotel bars only to slow down alcoholism. The district of crime records bureau has revealed that the city has 150 cases filed under the Narcotic Druga and Psychotropic Substances Act between January and April, 2015 only!
The police are worried about the entry of high-end drugs into the city’s nightlife like cocaine, LSD, and MDMA while there are drugs like ganja and ketamine being often confiscated.
Chennithala said that Maoists were responsible for the entry of all the drugs as they were “indulging in ‘narco-terrorism’” and promoting the cultivation of ganja plantations. The money earned by them is being used for terrorist activities he said. He also mentioned that among 234 psychotropic substances, 228 are freely available in medical stores across the state. Officials also blamed the flow of drugs on Goa saying that the city has zero enforcement which is affecting the surrounding cities, Kochi being one of them.
The prohibition is also giving rise to drugs and alcohol being brewed within the city premises and an increase in alcohol in Ayurveda medicines as well! Based on reports, 25% of hospital admissions and 69% crimes are caused due to intoxication, thus, throwing light on just how serious the condition of the state is getting.
Most of the consumers are school and college students who are victims as they are given free trials of tablets. The students get addicted and start coming back more often to buy the drugs.
This just shows how serious the drug problem is in Kochi, and if not taken under control, the city will turn into one of the highest drug consumers in the country.