List of Drugs Banned in India

Banned Drugs India Cover

The concept of altering mental state with different substances is not new. This has been ongoing for ages, and there are records that show ancient people used to ingest special drinks or extracts recreationally to enhance their thoughts. In present times, this idea has been taken to the extreme, and people are becoming addicted to different substances. Also, all the illicit drugs are produced in contaminated environments only make them worse. These are drugs that are banned in India.

1. Cocaine

Cocaine India Profile

While this substance was developed in the late 19th century, it has taken over the entire 21st century India. Similar to its usage in other parts of the world, it is exclusively used in major cities, mainly by wealthy individuals. It is a form of stimulant that has been used by indigenous people of South America. Granted, they only chewed the leaves of Erythroxylon Coca to get the desired effects. While it is unknown how this drug was first brought to India, it is believed that the first user was in Bihar, who accidentally became addicted after administering it for his tooth pain. Unsurprisingly, he made others aware of it as well, and soon enough, it spread to other parts of the country as well.

Cocaine Formula Canada


This being a stimulant hijacks the brain, and it immediately escalates the dopamine levels, which results in euphoria, increased sexuality, energy, and confidence. Interestingly, the method of administration, i.e., snorting or smoking, doesn’t change the effects. Moreover, it is also observed that users become unnaturally alert.
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Reason for the Ban

Cocaine is Narcotic Schedules I and III in the United Nations’ list of controlled substances. While it may provide temporary relief from physical pain, it can cause many nasty effects from panic attacks and twitch to vomiting and nosebleeds. It has been also seen that death from heart attacks and lung infections is common among users.

2. Heroin

Heroin India Profile

Heroin has become one of the most problematic drugs in India. It is nearly an epidemic, especially in the rural areas of states like Punjab and Bihar. While the latter state only saw a rise in numbers after alcohol was banned, Punjab has been entangled deep in the grips of heroin for over a decade, with people under the age of 30 being the dominant users. According to the statistics published by Social Justice India, 2.1% of the population is addicted to it, which is nearly 26 million people. Similar to cocaine, heroin was first synthesized in the 19th century; however, it is a form of opioid. Shockingly, it was sold as a cough suppressant.

Heroin Formula Canada


Being an opioid derivative, most people, particularly the ones with labor jobs, initiate using heroin to relieve their body from pain after a hard day’s work; however, heroin is extremely addictive. Among all the substances, heroin is known to cause the most intense euphoria by secreting an entire week worth’s of dopamine, which is why it is propagated in most songs.
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Reason for the Ban

It is labeled as Narcotic Schedules I and IV by the United Nations. Since it is mostly used in rural areas, people often use infected needles to administer heroin, which is the number one cause of death among its users. Moreover, unemployed addicts are known to sell their household items just to purchase this drug.

3. Opium

Opium India Profile

Another opiate, similar to Heroin is prevalent in rural areas of India. It is believed that opium was brought to India by traders from Persia and Afghanistan. Opium is mostly administered orally, as these are husks of the poppy plants; however, it comes in the form of latex as well, and some methods of preparation results in opium that can be smoked. There are an estimated 2 million opium users in India.


As it was traditionally used by farmers and laborers, it is easy to see that it induces a relaxing effect. Also, it is nearly 30 times less potent than heroin. It induces euphoria and users become slower after administration.

Reason for the Ban

Opium is considered a Narcotic Schedule I drug, and it has been banned since 1998. This decision was taken seeing the opium crisis in other parts of the world, . Moreover, some experts believe that it was the ban on opium that led to people becoming addicted to substances like heroin.

4. Ganja

Ganja India Profile

In India, laws surrounding cannabis are strange, to say the least. While the leaves of this plant (Bhang) are completely legal, and even promoted on occasions like Shivratri, flowers (Ganja) are strictly prohibited; however, the state of Uttarakhand is allowed to grow the crops, including flowers. Moreover, it is the most commonly used drug in entire India. Although it is banned, certain parts of India are known for selling it.

THC compound Ganja


Ganja is a psychoactive substance, and it is known to cause the “high”, which most people seek. After smoking ganja, the users experience slight euphoria, but a heightened thought process and physical senses. Users become noticeably slower, they begin to giggle endlessly, and a desire to eat different foods or copious amounts of one food is increased.
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Reason for the Ban

Ganja is deemed as a Narcotic Schedule I drug by the United Nations. While the reason behind this ban is unknown, it can be attributed to tourism because many people from other nations visit India to smoke ganja. Presently, Indians are also asking the government to legalize it.

5. Hashish

Hashish India Profile

Hashish or Hash is another drug that is derived from cannabis; however, it is different in both the looks and effects. It is a dark resin of the cannabis plant that is created by rubbing trichomes of the female plants in hands. It is more potent than the flowers, and it is smoked as well. Unlike ganja, Hashish is dominantly used in Northern India and Goa. Moreover, there are specific areas that are known solely for their quality of Hashish.

THC compound Ganja


While most people believe that Ganja and Hashish produce a similar effect, they are vastly different. The high of Hashish is often described as mellow by the users, but they also state that it makes them significantly slower. Also, it is stated that it is experienced more in the body compared to Ganja, and the user’s sensory experience is increased as well. Hashish has a massive appeal to tourists, a particular quality, known as Malana Cream from the village of Malana in Himachal Pradesh is popular in the entire world, and the entire village earns their revenue by selling Hashish.
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Reason for the Ban

Similar to Ganja, it is categorized as Narcotic Schedule I drug by the United Nations. When Hashish is used in high doses, it can result in dullness, compromised brain function, and memory loss. Although these are temporary side-effects, long-term use of Hashish can make these conditions permanent.

6. LSD

LSD India Profile

Another psychedelic drug, which is known as LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide, is dominantly used in the northern regions of India. Unlike other substances that were created intentionally, even for a different intended reason, the discovery of LSD was a complete accident. It was discovered in 1938 during research for alkaloid derivatives by Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist. For some reason, he ingested it and experienced the scariest bicycle ride of his life.

LSD Formula Canada


Being a psychedelic drug, it causes hallucinations, which are both visual and sensory that often lead to a confusion-like state. Interestingly, the two primary user groups of this drug are at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. On one side there are people at raves and music festivals, on the other side are spiritual individuals seeking answers. The effects of LSD last anywhere from 8 to 10 hours.
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Reason for the Ban

Considered as a Psychotropic Schedule I drug, LSD is strictly banned from the entirety of India. Although there is no physical side-effect of LSD, it can cause paranoia, anxiety, and disorganized speech. Moreover, synthetic LSD is also smuggled in large quantities, which can damage the liver and kidneys.


MDMA India Profile

One of the favorite party drugs for most people, MDMA or Molly, is also a psychoactive drug that is exclusively used at nightclubs and music festivals. Unlike other substances that people often use for relaxing, MDMA is used to enhance the party spirit. Molly is primarily used by the upper class because each pill costs over Rs. 1000. This drug was originally designed to stop bleeding in 1912 by Anton Köllisch, a German chemist, but it was dismissed by the company he was working for. Later, in 1965, another form of MDMA, which is used presently, was synthesized by Alexander Shulgin, an American chemist.

MDMA Canada formula


The entire effect of this drug can be summarized in one word: euphoria. Users often describe that they experience an intense physical pleasure for up to 5 hours, increased empathy, and a strong desire to socialize, hence the appropriate label of party fuel. MDMA only comes in the form of tablets.
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Reason for the Ban

Despite it being created to stop bleeding, presently, there is no medical use of MDMA, which is why it is a Psychotropic Schedule I drug. Although it induces euphoria that lasts for hours, its side effects are scary. As it fades, users begin to experience paranoia, depression, hallucination, and a sense of loneliness accompanied by delusions. Unnaturally high blood pressure is common among the users along with liver damage and chronic fatigue.

8. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine India Profile

Largely known as crystal meth, this nervous system stimulant was originally synthesized in Japan by a pharmacologist named Akira Ogata in 1919. Interestingly, Hitler used to administer it but in small doses; however, his military took hand fulls of this substance, resulting in soldiers that would not sleep for three days and were ready to fight anyone and anything. During the second world war, it was known as the Stuka tablets. Although most people associate methamphetamines with bad areas in the west, it is rapidly becoming a huge problem in India, as teenagers are checking-in rehabilitation clinics because of this drug.

Methamphetamine Chemical Formula


This drug either comes in the form of tablets or crystals, hence the name. The primary effect of this drug is wakefulness. Even if a person is sleepy, upon administering the drug, they would experience instant alertness. It also enhances libido, therefore, people on this drug often engage in sexual activities regardless of the place.
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Reason for the Ban

Crystal meth is labeled as a Psychotropic Schedule II drug by the United Nations. It alters the brain structure, users begin to lose memory, experience compromised dexterity, and hallucination, which can be permanent depending on the duration of usage. Paranoia and aggression are also common side-effects of methamphetamines. Due to its tendency to spike heart rate, addicts often experience a heart attack and stroke along with chronic constipation. In some cases, it can also kill the user.

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