Last Saturday night, Indian police raided a party in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. They came away with 14 grams of cocaine, 10 packets of cube LSD, 10 small pills of micro LSD, five grams of MDMA drug and four LSD dots. And this was a party of just 15 young people, not some sort of rave. The Times of India is running with the headline: “Middle-class youth addicted to affordable drugs”. It’s the “middle-class” part that constitutes the story. Banjara Hills houses some of India’s richest young people – but these were youths from lower down the social ladder:
After the crackdown on the city’s cocaine nexus curbed the supply of the potent drug in the party circles, the cheaper MDMA and LSD have become the dope in demand among the city’s druggies. And it’s not just youngsters from the elite circles of the city who are hooked to drugs anymore. The affordable MDMA and LSD have become the drugs of choice among the middle class too. Anurag Sharma, Commissioner of Police, says, “The city trend is now that youngsters are taking to MDMA and LSD. MDMA in the original state is white crystalline powder and is called Ecstasy when sold as pills. Because it’s more affordable when compared to coke, it has caught the fancy of youngsters from all social strata. Earlier, only the city’s upper class was into drugs, but now the growing trend is that even youngsters from middle class families have become habitual drug abusers.”
This is how the globalisation of addiction, one of the themes of The Fix, takes hold: in small shifts up and down the social ladder, in a leap of a mile or two from village houses to villas, or vice versa.
India has at least four million drug addicts – and the number is growing: once recreational drugs penetrate lower-income communities, the total could number tens of millions. The Indian middle class is growing extremely fast, creating disorientation, new wealth and an appetite for sensation-seeking. For a drug baron, that’s the perfect emerging market.
Here’s more on the subject, from my Telegraph blog.
Posted in: Drugs, Pills
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