Three-fold increase in drug abuse in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, July 29 (IANS) There has been a three-fold increase in drug abuse in Kerala after the closure of bars in the state, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Wednesday.

“After the closure of the bars, the use of drugs in the state has gone up three times,” Chennithala told the assembly.

As part of the new liquor policy of Kerala, more than 700 hotels have closed down their bars. There are now just 24 five-star hotels that serve liquor.

He said Maoists were indulging in ‘narco terrorism’ and promoting cultivation of ganja plants. “They are using that money for terrorist activities.”

He also pointed out that psychotropic substances were freely available in medical stores.

“Of the 234 psychotropic medications, 228 are freely available in the medical shops,” said Chennithala.

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