Millennium Post

Drugged to death

While Anmol Sarna’s family battles police theories behind the death of the 20-year-old non-resident Indian on vacation here, following his presence in a party at a high-profile apartment block in south Delhi, there is no denying the fact that drug had been rampantly in use at that unfortunate get-together. It’s alleged that Anmol Sarna behaved abnormally soon after consuming banned LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) tablets at his friend's apartment in Kalkaji. On the day of the incident, Sarna and his four friends (Praneel, Shivang, Madhav and Rhytham) had managed to get a large quantity of LSD from a drug peddler in Noida for Rs 7,000.

Though LSD is banned, it’s easily available in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR). Surprisingly in the past five years, Delhi police has failed to recover a single unit of LSD. Sarna’s death is just the tip of the iceberg; the drug malaise in the city and its suburbs runs much deeper. 

Beware of going to rave parties, pubs and discotheques just to maintain your status symbol or so-called 'rep' (reputation). You might be trapped by a drug dealer waiting to get you hooked to forbidden drugs. Each step forward in taking drugs, that no doubt allows you a high, is pushing you away from the world around you. 

Rave parties, characterised by  electronica-trance music, close dancing, and alcohol, are infamous for the rampant presence of drugs and thus often called ‘acid house parties’. Pubs and discotheques, that are mostly popular among the young, especially couples who want to spend some quality time (read intimate moments) with each other, are thronged by drug peddlers who target these youngsters, eager to live life on their own terms. When Millennium Post visited a few of these infamous pubs (names withheld) in the national capital, the easy availability of drugs was scary. Go and stand near the bar tender, make a few gestures to convey you are looking for these party drugs, and the next time you order a drink, they will hand you a piece of paper that will instruct you to go to a particular place inside the pub premises where you can meet the drug dealer. 

Before handing over the directions, however, he will call his partner in crime. For often cops use their agents in the form of customers to nab the peddlers. To prove that you are a genuine customer, you will have to give them a tip (cash) and then you may go on a trip to the forbidden world of ecstasy. 
At rave parties, however, drug peddlers approach you much as a hawker would. 'Do you want Cocaine, LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), Ganja...’ the list of wares is endless. Anyone attending the party for the first time may be in for a shock. But regulars or addicts don’t need a second call to enter into a bargain with the peddlers

Ganja (Rs 50 to Rs 700 per gram), Charas (Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per gram), LSD (Rs 1,200- Rs 4,000 per drop), Cocaine (Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 per gram) are the most commonly used and available drugs. The price varies depending on the quality, drug peddler and the place of availability of these drugs. Other drugs that are available in Delhi-NCR are Ephedrine, Actifin tablets, Phenobarbitol, Acetic Anhydride, Chemical Powder. 

Apart from these drugs, Party Pills are highly popular and easily available in the market. These Party Pills are often used for in-house parties, music concerts and bachelor parties. When Millennium Post contacted the Narocotics and Crime Prevention Cell, a senior police official shared the details of these pills. 'These Party Pills are well known as Ecstasy pills (XTC tablets).They are commonly used at parties and it has become something of a status symbol among the young to have party pills at their do. A feeling of inner peace and self-acceptance is induced by the consumption of these pills, ' said the official. 

The official added that the chemical content  of these pills is so heavy that it cannot be taken directly, and is often adulterated and mixed with either soft or hard drinks. The scientific name of this pill is MDMA,  but it is widely known as Ecstasy. The trend of consuming these pills has increased due to the increasing cases of depression among youths. But selling and buying of these pills is banned in the country. 

Party Pills, in high demand among the youth, are allegedly sourced from North-East India. The drug rackets busted so far, in Delhi or other parts of the country, were found to be connected to the North-Eastern regions. It has been found that these pills are in high distribution in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and Pune. But police officials have been unable to crack the nexus of the supply chain so far. 
'Whenever a drug racket is busted, those found guilty have been found to have a North-East India connect. And the records of the past three years show the growing racket in regions like Mizoram, Assam and Nagaland,' added the official. 
An official in the narcotics department said, 'Before busting a racket we do not classify the case with different types of drugs available in the market. So far in 2013, we have registered approximately 338 cases under NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, and 408 persons have been arrested out of which 10  per cent are Nigerian nationals.' 

Millennium Post tried to find out the reason why youths get attracted towards these drugs : 'There is no attraction. But we are grown-ups and if such substances are available in the market and can help us relax, there’s no reason to not try them,' said a 17-year-old boy who has recently been initiated into Cocaine. He added that one of his friends, who is three years older than him, referred him to a drug dealer. 'The first time I went with him, but slowly I built my personal contact with the peddler. Now I don't need anyone's reference,' he said, requesting anonymity. 

According to data maintained by narcotics department in Delhi, '65 per cent of consumers are found to be below 45 years, 10 per cent are above 45 years and remaining 25 per cent are women.' Of the 65 per cent below 45 years, approximately 38 per cent are below 25 years of age, 20 per cent are between 25-35 years and 7 per cent are above 35 years. 'There are addicts as young as 13-year-old. In the past three years, a rapid increase in the opening of drugs and alcohol rehabilitation centres has been noticed. And the number of those being admitted at the rehabs has also gone up,' he added. 

The side-effects of these pills are serious. Though it is guaranteed to give you a high, make you feel at peace with the world, it will also make you lose control over body and mind. If you are among people you can trust and have time to sleep off the drug-induced high, your chances of being bruised for life are fewer.  

But often your first high is also your first step into the world of crime.
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