Recently, social justice and empowerment minister Thawar Chand Gehlot stated in the Rajya Sabha that over 5.7 crore people in India are addicted to alcohol. He also claimed that there were over 77 lakh opioid users in the country, and that all these people needed help. 

According to The Times of India, the statements came about during a debate about rising drug addiction among school children.


According to Gehlot, alcohol is the most common psychoactive compound used by Indians, followed by cannabis and opioids.

Gehlot also added that over 16 crore people in the country consume alcohol, while around 3.1 crore use cannabis.


The findings were part of a national household survey by the Social Justice and Empowerment ministry in 2018. Gehlot said,

The report establishes that a substantial number of people use psychoactive substances in India and the substance use exists in all the population groups with adult men bearing the brunt of substance use disorders.

The survey also found that around 1.18 crore people between the ages of 10 and 75 years were taking sedatives and 77 lakh were using inhalants. Children and adolescents were using inhalants more than others.

The government has now allocated Rs. 135 crore to prevent drug addiction. This is 4 times more than the amount in 2014.