DRUGS & NARCOTICS
By Sachin kumar Tripathi
Master in Forensic Science
University of Lucknow
A drug can be defined as a natural or synthetic substance that is
used to produce physiological effects in man.
The word “NARCOTICS” is derived from a Greek word
“NARCOTIKOS” which means lethargy or sluggishness. According to
the “Pharmacologists” narcotics are the drugs, which adversely affect
the activity of the central nervous system (CNS).
DRUGS & NARCOTICS
If used as Medicine
- relieves pain
- induces sleep
- cures psychological disorders.
Misuse or overdose results in
- toxic symptoms
The trade of Drugs & Narcotics is controlled by highly organized,
influential & resourceful mafia gangs.
India is situated between Golden triangle (Myanmar, Laos & Thailand ) and
Golden crescent (Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iran ) which are world famous for
To meet the growing menace of drug abuse, the Government of
India promulgated the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances (NDPS) Act in 1985. This act has been further
amended in 1988 to provide detention powers to the Central and
State Government enforcement agencies.
Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs can be classified into three
Depressants Act upon the central nervous
system and slow down its activity. Drug
abusers term it as “high” which means a state
of well-being and comfort – an escape from
the reality with which they cannot cope. This
imagined state of mind is called euphoria. The
drugs that fall in this category are Opium,
Morphine, Heroin, Codeine, Synthetic opiates,
Opium is the milky-white juice that is
obtained from the pod of the poppy
plant. The substance darkens to a
blackish brown colour and thickness
upon exposure to air. In India, it is
grown in some parts of Rajasthan,
Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Raw opium has a distinctive and
It is most commonly abused by
smoking in long stemmed pipes.
Chronic use of opium leads to both
physical and mental dependence
and tolerance builds up.
Withdrawal symptoms, like
becoming nervous, restless, anxious,
sweating, running eyes and nose
develop when the drug supply is cut
Raw Dried Opium
Dried Yellow Power
The Opium poppy is
a plant used to
produce opium, a drug
that is the source of
heroin and several
Morphine is obtained from raw opium base through
a chemical process in which ten kilogram of raw
opium yields one kilogram of morphine base. It
usually appears as an odourless white crystalline
powder in the illicit market. It may also appear in
tablet, capsule and liquid form.
Morphine is usually administered by injection with hypodermic
When consumed morphine creates both mental and physical
dependence in the user.
Euphoric state is obtained with morphine, and the user may
present a sleepy or relaxed appearance with constricted pupils of
Morphine is 3 to 5 times stronger than opium as an analgesic.
Heroin is derived from morphine.
It is odorless crystalline white powder which
does not have any known medical use.
Heroin in impure form is known as BROWN
It is available in the form of powder and
It is 10 to 15 times more potent than morphine.
Heroin is either injected or sniffed into the
The effects of heroin are similar to
those of opium and morphine, but
due to its high potency its effect on
the user is more intense and
Heroin in powder
& pill forms with
Codeine is also derived from morphine, but is
less effective and is used as analgesic.
It is available in tablets, capsules and in
It is administered orally or by injection.
In medicine, codeine is the base of many pain
relievers and cough remedies.
Addicts use codeine when more powerful
opiates are not available.
Barbiturates are a group of non-narcotic drugs
that are derived from barbituric acid. They are
commonly referred to as “downers”, because
they relax, create a feeling of well-being, and
produce sleep. They act on the central nervous
system to suppress its vital functions. There are
about 25 barbiturate derivatives, but only five,
are most commonly used. Barbiturates come in
tablets, powders and capsules.
Stimulants excite or stimulate the central nervous
system. They can be obtained from natural sources
and can be synthesized. The drugs that fall in this
category are Cocaine, Amphetamine,
Cocaine is the active alkaloid obtained from the coca leaves.
When extracted and refined, cocaine is a white crystalline
It causes mental but no physical dependence.
Tolerance does not develop.
Cocaine produces a sense of euphoria and a feeling of increased
alertness and vigor accompanied by the suppression of hunger,
fatigue, and boredom.
Cocaine is usually sniffed, but it also injected.
The after effects of cocaine include anxiety, restlessness, and feelings
Crack Cocain -
Once in a lifetime
Vials of Crack
Amphetamines are synthetic non-
narcotic dangerous drugs that
stimulate the central nervous system.
Amphetamines are available in
capsule, tablet or liquid form. They
are taken either orally or by injection.
They are widely used by truck
drivers, night watchmen and
students to keep them awake or
increase alertness, which is often
followed by a decrease in fatigue
and a loss of appetite.
However, once the effects of drug
are over depression may set in.
These drugs can cause marked alterations in normal
thought processes, perceptions and moods. The drugs
that fall under this category are Marijuana (Ganja), LSD
Marijuana is derived from a plant which secretes a sticky resin is
known as HASHISH /CHARAS.
The dried flowering tips stem and seeds are used for preparing
cigars and smoked as GANJA.
The leaf preparations are often taken in some parts of our
country and is called as BHANG.
Marijuana abuse can lead to metal
A distortion of time is one of the
Other effects are alterations in depth
perception, powers of concentration,
peripheral vision, distance Perception,
emotions, motivation etc.
Marijuana has no known therapeutic
HASHISH (CNS Drug) extracted from
Cannabis (Grass, Pot, Weed, Ganja)
is a drug that
physical effects. It
is made from the
dried leaves and
flowering tops of
the hemp plant.
in cigarettes or
LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide )
It is the most potent hallucinogenic drug derived from ergot, a
fungus that grows on rye.
It does not have any known medical use.
It is a tasteless, odourless, and colourless liquid in its pure state
and is normally taken orally.
On the illicit market, it can be found as a tablet, crystalline
powder in various capsules, or in liquid form in ampoules.
It is often impregnated in sugar cubes and can be put on the back
of postage stamps to be eaten by the receiver.
LSD primarily affects the central nervous system by producing
changes in mood and behaviour.
It may also dilate eye pupils, cause tremor and elevate
temperature and blood pressure.
ROUTES OF ADMINISTRATION:
Drugs can be administered by
- injection (skin popping/ i.m./ i.v.(main lining) )
- sniffing/ inhaling
The resulting physiological & psychological changes are Influenced by
- what the person sees, hears, smells &
- his general mood & expectations
CONTROLLING AGENCIES :
CBN – Central Bureau of Narcotics.
BSF - Border Security Force.
CBI - Central Bureau of Investigation.
NCB – Narcotics Control Bureau.
DRI - Directorate of Rev. Intelligence
Customs & Central Excise
State Excise Department.
Anabolic steroids build muscle mass .
However produces liver and adrenal
Also produces infertility and
impotence in men and virilisation or
masculinity in women.
Drug possession is a crime either for personal
use, distribution, sale or otherwise.
Illegal drugs fall into different categories and
sentences vary depending on the amount, type of
drug, circumstances, and jurisdiction.
Drugs trade / Trafficking includes the
farming, manufacturing and distribution of
addictive drugs and is prohibited across the
COLLECTION AND PRESERVATION
The field investigator has the responsibility of
ensuring that the evidence is properly packaged
and labeled for the laboratory analysis.
The original container in which all packages
are kept must be marked with information that is
sufficient to ensure identification by the officer
The integrity of the evidence from the time of
seizure until its presentation to the court is to be
maintained to establish chain of custody.
The quantity to be drawn in each sample for chemical test shall not be less than
5 grams in respect of all narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances except in
the case of opium, ganja and charas (hashish) where a quantity of 24 grams in
each case is required for chemical test.
The seized drugs in the packages/containers should be thoroughly mixed to
make it homogeneous and representative sample is drawn from it
Drugs are to be accurately weighed.
Individual pills / tablets are to be counted carefully.
Liquids are to be measured in liters or mls.
To meet the legal requirements of the NDPS Act, the forensic science
laboratories are equipped with sophisticated analytical instruments for
analysis of drugs and drug related substances. The laboratory analysis
of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances proceed from screening
tests to more specific confirmatory tests including quantitative
estimation of the drug.
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