Shimla, June 1
A recent seizure of methamphetamine in Solan district has triggered concerns that after adulterated heroin ‘chitta’, this recreational drug too is making inroads into Himachal Pradesh.
Although the amount recovered is small, this is the first time that the drug has been seized in the state, police said.
“The seizure of meth is a serious issue as entry of high-end drugs in Himachal implies that the availability of 'chitta' has turned the state into a drug consuming market, and now new drugs are being introduced,” SP, Solan, Virender Sharma told PTI.
Three people, including two from Kharar in Punjab, were arrested with 1.56 gm of methamphetamine or meth and 22 gm of chitta in Parwanoo last week.
The trio had come to hand over the drugs in Parwanoo for Rs 10,000, he added.
Meth is considered more lethal than other drugs as on an average, 4.8 percent of its users required emergency medical attention after consumption, according to the Global Drug Survey.
Meth, which gives an instant high, is used in rave parties and mixed with other drugs to make them more addictive.
Recovery of meth is an indication that either rave parties are being organised or the drug is being used for adulteration. Whatever may be the case, the situation is serious, former Director of the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) Arun Sharma said.
Earlier, meth was mixed with chitta along with other synthetic drugs but now it is coming in crystal form which is more dangerous and there is a need to understand the dynamics and roots of drug trafficking through inter-agency coordination, said former convener cum advisor of HP Nasha Nivaran Board O P Sharma.
“Recovery of meth is a pointer that smugglers might be aiming at producing chitta locally," he said.
Opium - the base material for heroin is grown in Kullu and Mandi districts--and it is easy to siphon acetic anhydride, an industrial chemical used for chitta production. Meth is a substitute of amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant that makes chitta 120 times more addictive, Sharma, who is also a member of the Institute of Narcotics Studies and Analysis, told PTI.
Chitta consumption has increased manifold in the state in the past few years and the seizure increased from 3.4 kg in 2017 to 11.52 kg in 2022. Over 1,500 cases under NDPS are registered in the state every year, with over 2,000 arrests.
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