"Notwithstanding the very harsh penal laws that we have and rightly so, genesis of problem (drug abuse) goes down to the easy availability of narcotics," he said at an event organised by Central Board of Excise and Customs here.

The number of those who are addicted in some small and large measure in narcotics runs into several crores in India, he said at the event to celebrate United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Noting that drug abuse not only affects an individual but society as a whole, he said, there is need to create awareness against this menace in the country.

"Social menaces are never cured by law alone. They are cured only when a large section of society participates in campaign," he said.

Jaitley said that easy availability could be due to a lot of cross-border smuggling of narcotics into India.

"The narcotics being thrown over fencing and currency being thrown back even beats the fencing and that's the reason why smuggling is rampant", he said.

"In the border districts, the curse seems to be huge and therefore the need for vigilance by those who have been in law and empowered to deal with it," he added.


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