Visakhapatnam: Two Telugu speaking states Andhra Pradesh and Telangana also rank high in the number of people committing suicide from drug abuse or addiction. In 2014 and 2015, a total of 478 people committed suicide because of drug abuse or addiction.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) says that AP stood fifth in the country in 2015 in drug-related suicides while Telangana emerged at fifth place in 2014 in suicides from drug abuse.
With 162 deaths including three women, AP accounts for 4.41 per cent while with 100 deaths, including six women, Telangana accounts for 2.72 per cent of the 3,670 suicides that were reported in the country in 2015 linked to drug abuse and addiction.
Maharashtra had the highest number of drug-related suicides in 2015 with over 1,270 deaths and in 2014 with 1,372 deaths. The state accounts for almost 40 per cent of the suicides because of drug abuse. The NCRB data also said that 22 people including two women committed suicide from drug abuse in Hyderabad city in 2015 while seven in Vijayawada and one in Vizag ended their lives in drug related suicides.
Drug addiction had been identified as a major risk factor for suicide. The high penetration of drugs makes people vulnerable to accidental deaths, says Dr S. Radha Rani, a psychiatrist.
In 2015, a total of 690 cases were reported in AP under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act while the number increased to 1,040 in 2016. So far in 2017 over 400 cases have been reported.
Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Bengaluru were potential source of drugs-opium, cocaine and brown sugar entering the nation, say police and excise officials.
While only a few cases have been registered by the police and excise officials against drug trafficking in Vizag, Vijayawada and some other parts of AP, many trafficking cartels are spreading their trade in the state. Cities like Vizag, Vijayawada and Tirupati experience higher consumption of costly drugs such as opium, cocaine and brown sugar, said a senior officer with Task Force Police.
Usage of injectable sedative drugs such as Fortwin, Campose and Ketamine are also on the rise. Though abuse of expensive drugs is relatively low compared to Hyderabad, Vizag, the cosmopolitan socio-cultural hub in Andhra Pradesh is emerging as the hub of the illegal trade in the new state said Dr Uma Raju of Greenvalley Foundation in Vizag that deals with substance-addicted patients.