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General Health of the Population 7 - continued

Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use - continued

In Nepal, many crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol. Much violence both outside and inside the home has taken place under the influence of alcohol, and it has been the root cause or precipitant in many antisocial and criminal acts. Ten percent of violence against women is attributed to alcohol used by the spouse. Alcohol has been the starting drug for many, and it has also been freely available whenever the drug of choice is not available. Excessive use of alcohol is also linked to the economic exploitation in some communities in Nepal. Most of the traditional alcohol user groups have lost their land due to the excessive use of alcohol and the land has been mortgaged by the upper caste people, traditionally non-alcohol user groups.17

The Ministry of Health in 1998 estimated that there were more than 50,000 drug users in Nepal, excluding those using cannabis, alcohol and tobacco. The overall prevalence of drugs is 2.7% with 4.6% for men and 0.6% for women. Traditional alcohol non-users are much more likely to use drugs over the traditional alcohol user. The major drugs abused in Nepal, apart from tobacco and alcohol, were cannabis and codeine containing cough syrup, nitrazepam tablets and buprenon-phine injections, glue and opiates. Heroin is the second most prevalent drug in the country and more than 25,000 people depend on it. 18

Nepal is the biggest producer of cannabis resin in South Asia. Besides the home-grown cannabis, Nepal is also being flooded with low-grade heroin from India and with opium. In 2008, of the 634 people arrested in Nepal for drug smuggling, 72 were foreigners, including 17 women. 19


7 WHO, Nepal, National Health System Profile, www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Nepal_Profile-Nepal.pdf

17 WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004, www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Alcohol_and_Substance_abuse_Nepal.pdf

18 CWIN Research on Alcohol and Drugs Use in Nepal, 2001, www.cwin.org.np/press_room/fact_sheets/fact_alcohol.htm

19 Growing drug ties choking India, Nepal, Thaindian News, February 20, 2009, http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/growing-drug-ties-choking-india-nepal_100157565.html


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