India will install more than $8bn worth of infinity lasers in five states in 2019, officials said, in a bid to combat sky-high drug costs and curb violence.
Key points:A state-of-the-art facility will cost $10 billionIndia has one of the highest drug use rates in the world and the world’s highest overdose death rateInfinity lasers are aimed at helping treat drug addicts in rural areasThe machines are expected to be installed by 2020The technology will help combat sky high drug costs in rural India, where drug addiction is rampantInfinity Lasers can produce as much as 3,000 millisieverts per hour, which is equal to the output of two large nuclear reactors.
They have been deployed in the state of Maharashtra and Punjab and are expected by 2020 to be used in some of India’s poorest and most violent rural areas.
Officials from the Centre for Research and Development of Drugs and Addiction (CDRDA) told NDTV that India has one the highest opium-related deaths rates in Asia, with more than 4,000 people killed annually, or one every 14 minutes.
“We have witnessed the huge impact of the drug problem on our people in India, and the government is trying to bring about solutions that will ensure that drug users are treated in a dignified way,” said Amit Chatterjee, MD of DRDA, the government agency that oversees the state-owned Indian Laser Institute (ILI).
“India has an addiction problem of over 50 million people.
Drugs are a big issue, so the technology that is going to be developed will be very useful,” he added.
Drug addicts often come from rural areas where they have no access to clean water and basic healthcare facilities, and are often trapped by violence.
The ILI said it will provide an inflatable inflatable laboratory to the state, where the lasers will be installed, to test the effectiveness of the new technology.
“The goal is to reduce the number of drug addicts,” Dr Chatterjay said.
“It will also be a way to combat the problem of drug addiction in rural and remote areas,” he said.
India’s drug addiction problemThe drug-related death rate in India is estimated at more than 500 per 100,000.
In 2014, the country recorded a record 1,859 deaths from drug-induced diseases, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
India has seen a rise in drug use and addiction rates in recent years, which have worsened over the past two decades.
Drug abuse is prevalent in rural villages and communities, where most Indians live, with some estimates estimating as many as 20 per cent of people living in rural places are addicts.
Drug use in India has reached a new peak in 2016, when the death toll from drug abuse was more than 1,600, with most of the increase occurring in rural districts of Maharashtra.
India recorded nearly 14,000 deaths in the past three years due to drug- and alcohol-related problems.