Although the problem of drug abuse is an old issue in the state, with newspaper reports as far back as 2002 saying that there was an alarming increase in substance abuse in Bihar. A report in The Times of India in 2002 pointed out that contraband drugs seized had more than doubled to 131 that year compared to just 61 in 1999. It also reported that drugs were now sold in front of schools and colleges. But the post prohibition scenario is more alarming for the simple reason that drug abuse is now replacing alcoholism. Alcoholics are not known to be substance abusers but prohibition in Bihar is throwing up a new phenomenon.
Alcoholics who would have never indulged in substance abuse are being pushed in that direction simply because liquor is not available. The proof of this lies in the fact that the state had sent 38 doctors to get special training in de-addiction at NIMHANS in New Delhi. The state government, at the time of announcing prohibition, had sought to justify it by saying that it had consulted health experts and had taken measures to handle cases of withdrawal symptoms and worse. But it had not factored in the whole scale conversion of alcoholics to substance abuse. In seeking to deliver the people from the devil, the state government has pushed them into deep sea.