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Psychedelic substances have reinvigorated clinical and research interests, and have added to psychiatry’s ever-expanding therapeutic armamentarium.

About Psychedelics:  

  • What are these? These are a group of drugs that alter perception, mood, and thought processing while a person is still clearly conscious.
  • These are non-addictive and non-toxic.
  • The two most commonly used psychedelics are d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin.
  • In India, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 prohibit the use of psychedelic substances.
  • Ketamine a dissociative anaesthetic with psychedelic properties is used under strict medical supervision for anaesthesia and to treat treatment-resistant depression.

Key Facts about the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985

  • It was enacted in 1985 and deals with drugs and their trafficking in the country.
  • The act has since been amended thrice in 1988, 2001, and 2014.
  • It was passed to meet India's global treaty obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Convention on Psychotropic Substances and United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
  • The Act prohibits the production, manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation & consumption of many narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, including cannabis, heroin, opium etc. The law, however, does not apply to bhang.
  • Anyone who violates the NDPS Act faces punishment based on the quantity of the banned substance.
  • The maximum punishment that can be given under this Act is the death penalty. However, the death penalty can only be given to repeat offenders, at the discretion of a judge.
  • It allows courts to release an addict for treatment if found guilty of consumption of drugs.

Narcotics Control Bureau

  • It works under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The agency is tasked with coordinating with state governments and other authorities, under NDPS Act, Customs Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and any other law, for the enforcement of provisions of the NDPS Act.


Q1) What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a powerful dissociative anesthetic drug that is used for medical and veterinary purposes. It works by blocking certain receptors in the brain and producing a state of sedation, pain relief, and altered perception.

Source: Explained | Can psychedelics treat depression? A doctor explains.