International Narcotics Control Board Report, 2023

International Narcotics Control Board Report, 2023

This article covers ‘Daily Current Affairs’ and the topic details of ”International Narcotics Control Board Report, 2023″. This topic is relevant in the “Internal Security” section of the UPSC CSE exam.


Why in the News? 


International Narcotics Control Board has released its Annual Report, 2023, in which it emphasised that the proliferation of online drug trafficking has heightened the accessibility of illicit drugs in the market.


Key Points from the International Narcotics Control Board Report

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) report paints a complex picture of the global drug landscape, highlighting both shifting production and trafficking patterns as well as emerging threats in the online space.


Shifts in the Geography of Drug Production


  • Afghanistan: A significant decline in illicit opium poppy cultivation and heroin production offers a glimmer of hope. However, this could lead to a shift in production to other regions, requiring continued vigilance.
  • Asia: South Asia’s potential role as a transit route for Afghan-made methamphetamine to Europe and Oceania raises concerns about a new front in the global drug trade. Additionally, the Pacific Islands are transitioning from mere transit points to destinations for synthetic drugs, posing a significant challenge for their limited resources.
  • America: North America continues to grapple with an opioid crisis fueled by synthetic opioids, while South America experiences a surge in coca bush cultivation, the key ingredient in cocaine. This highlights the need for multifaceted approaches that address both production and demand across the hemisphere.
  • Africa: West and Central Africa are emerging as crucial transit regions for cocaine trafficking, demanding enhanced cooperation between countries in the region to disrupt these illicit networks.


Emerging Challenges: The Rise of Online Drug Trafficking


The INCB report emphasises the growing threat of online drug trafficking.  Drug traffickers are exploiting the anonymity and ease of access offered by the internet to expand their reach and evade detection. This poses several challenges:


  • Increased Availability: Illicit drugs of all kinds are readily available on the internet, creating a new avenue for addiction and overdose risks, particularly among young people.
  • Criminal Exploitation of Platforms: Criminal groups are taking advantage of legitimate e-commerce platforms, social media, and the dark net to market and sell illegal drugs.
  • Challenges in Prosecution: The use of encryption methods, anonymous browsing tools, and cryptocurrencies by criminals makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track and prosecute online drug trafficking activities.



The INCB report doesn’t solely focus on the problems; it offers a roadmap for tackling these challenges through a multi-pronged approach:


  • Harnessing Technology for Good: Governments and law enforcement agencies can collaborate with social media platforms to utilise their reach for drug prevention campaigns and raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse.
  • Telemedicine and Online Pharmacies: Properly regulated use of telemedicine and online pharmacies could improve access to healthcare and treatment services for people struggling with drug dependence.
  • International Cooperation: The report emphasises the importance of international collaboration between governments, international organisations, and the private sector. Sharing information, developing coordinated strategies, and working together to identify new online threats are crucial for effectively combating this evolving form of drug trafficking.
  • Strengthening International Controls: The INCB recommends placing specific precursor chemicals under stricter international control to disrupt the production of illicit drugs before they reach the online market.

Initiatives Taken by India to Address Drug Abuse

India has a well-established legal framework and a multi-pronged strategy to combat drug abuse:

  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985: This act forms the legislative backbone of India’s fight against drug trafficking and abuse. It strictly regulates the production, possession, sale, and consumption of narcotic and psychotropic substances.
  • Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan (NMBA): Launched in 2020, this national campaign adopts a three-pronged approach: supply control by the Narcotics Control Bureau, outreach and awareness efforts led by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, and treatment programs provided by the Health Department. This collaborative effort aims to address all aspects of the drug problem, from prevention to treatment and rehabilitation.
  • National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction: Launched in 2018, this comprehensive plan focuses on prevention through education and awareness campaigns, early identification of drug use, and providing accessible treatment and rehabilitation services for those struggling with addiction. Additionally, it emphasises capacity building of service providers, ensuring they have the necessary skills and resources to handle drug-related issues effectively.
  • International Cooperation: India actively participates in international treaties and conventions aimed at combating drug trafficking, such as the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. This demonstrates India’s commitment to working with the international community to address this global challenge.


International Narcotics Control Board

  • The international fight against drug trafficking receives crucial support from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). Established in 1968, this independent body acts as a watchdog for the implementation of United Nations drug control conventions
  • Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the INCB monitors compliance and offers guidance to member states. India actively participates in this global effort through its own Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 19th March 2024


Prelims practise questions


Q1. Consider the following statements:

  1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has a ‘Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air’.
  2. The UNCAC is the ever-first legally binding global anti-corruption instrument.
  3. A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is the inclusion of a specific chapter aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners from whom they had been taken illicitly.
  4. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its member States to assist in the implementation of both UNCAC and UNTOC.

How many of the statements above are correct?

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) Only three

(d) All four




Q2.Which initiative launched in 2020 aims to address drug abuse in India through a three-pronged approach?

(a) National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction

(b) Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985

(c) International Cooperation on Drug Trafficking

(d) Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan (NMBA)


Answer: D


Main practise question


Q1. How does the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 contribute to India’s efforts in combating drug trafficking and abuse?


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