Efforts to Curb Drug Menace in Punjab: Overview

Efforts to Curb Drug Menace in Punjab: Overview

Question: The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was recently observed internationally by the UNGA with the theme “Let’s Develop Our Lives, Our Communities, Our Identities Without Drugs.” Examine the recent steps taken to combat the drug menace in Punjab.

• The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has sanctioned 28 new de-addiction centres in Punjab to curb drug abuse

• Ministry has also commissioned a survey on the extent, pattern and trend of drug abuse in the state

• Punjab is one of the worst drug affected states in India and it needs special attention

• The importance of preventative education has also been emphasised

• Stopping drug use before it starts can curb the incidence of addiction

• Strong communities across the country can serve as powerful influencers to prevent people from abusing drugs

• For awareness generation programme and preventive education, Ministry has collaborated with National Service Scheme and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan

• Workshops have also been organised to prevent drug abuse

• The Ministry is also finalising a National Policy on Drug Demand Reduction to create awareness on the harm relating to drug use and need for preventive approach to be implemented in consistent manner with special emphasis on youth, women and young girls

• The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal organisation for drug demand reduction efforts

• Drug abuse is a psychosocial medical problem which can be handled through adoption of family or community based approach through active involvement of NGOs and community based organisations

• There is awareness building and education about ill effects of drug abuse

• Community based intervention has been sought for motivational counselling, identification, treatment and rehab of drug addicts

• Training of volunteers and service providers as well as other stakeholders would build up a committed and skilled cadre for service providers in the sector
• Ministry has also been implementing a Central Sector Scheme for Prevention of of Alcoholism and Substance(Drug) Abuse since 1985-1986

• Financial assistance is provided under this scheme for running IRCAs or Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts for treatment of drug abuse victims through collaboration with state governments and NGOs

• Financial assistance for about 300 de-addiction centres is provided in the country under this scheme

Facts and Stats

• Drug addiction in Punjab is rampant; near border areas, rate of heroin abuse among 15 to 25 year olds is as much as 75%

• The percentage is 73% in other rural areas throughout the region

• Department of Social Security and Development of Women and Children holds that minimum of 67% of rural Punjab households have at least one drug addict in the family

• In this region, there is at least one death due to drug overdose each week
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