The practice of consuming intoxicants by human beings is prevalent among almost all communities of the world. In Nepal, consumption of some intoxicants such as marijuana (ganja), bhang, alcohol was in practice since a long time and in old days. It was not a big social and economic problem untill last few decades, the mid-1960s and early-1970s with the influx of large numbers of hippies, types and mode of drugs intake have been changed. Beside marijuana, bhang, people started to intake opiates and chemical drugs like Cocaine, Heroin, LSD, Morphine, Propoxyphene, Nitrazepam, Buprenorphine, etc. Also the mode of drug administration changed from smoking or ingesting to injecting.
The drug survey report by MoHA painted a gloomy picture of drug abusers in the country. The results showed that there were altogether 91,534 drug users in 2069 which is nearly a double of 46,309 in 2063 and is in increasing order. It has increased by about 98% over the course of 6 years and the annual growth rate is 11.36%. The majority with 93.1% is accounted to male and 6.9% to female. The youth 20-24 years accounted for the highest proportion of the current drug users in Nepal, followed by 25-29 years age group. Moreover, the report shows that the drug intake starts around the age of 15.
According to the report, Cannabis and Opiates drugs are the most commonly used drugs (90.5% and 93.5% respectively). Of these, 87% drug users prefer Cannabis Ganja whereas 68%, 64% and 55% drug users prefer Herion, Pain Medicine and Cough Syrup respectively. Tranquilizers like diagepam, nitrazepam, dormin accounted to 83.5%. Similarly, inhalants users are 12.7%, Hallucinogens users are 8.7% and small proportion (5.2%) have also experience of Stimulant. The top three drugs used are Opiate, Tranquilizers and Cannabis.
The drug intake accounts due to Peer pressure,the major cause, for drug intake, curiosity and family problem .The users are getting drugs from more than one source. The abusers get them through drug user friends, mobile drug seller and medical store. A large chunk of drug enter the country from bordering districts of India. The highest number of drug users are in the Valley, followed by Sunsari, Kaski, Morang, Jhapa, Rupandehi, Chitwan, Banke and Parsa.
The another study shows that the current number of addicts in Nepal totals 150,000 and that 64% of addicts are young people. 900 to 1200 of these addicts are children on the streets of Kathmandu. Many of these children inhale the glue fumes as a way of staving off hunger and obliterating their misery. A group of 12 children roughly consumes eight tubes of Dentrite, the most common glue that cause chest pain and hallucinations, each day.