Drug De-addiction policy: Govt takes up multipronged awareness campaign

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Srinagar

As drug addiction is taking alarming shape, the State Government after the implementation of first ever Drug De-addiction policy has taken up various initiatives to create awareness about substance misuse by reaching to all sections of the society, Financial Commissioner to the Government, Atul Dullo said.

Financial Commissioner to the Government, Atul Dullo along with Principal GMC Srinagar Dr Kaiser releasing book of State Drug De-addiction policy for J&K at GMC Srinagar.

He was speaking in a function at Government Medical College Srinagar here. Department of Psychiatry had organised the function. Dullo said this is the second drug policy in the country after Punjab.

He said the government has successfully conducted workshops for creating awareness about the drug abuse in the State, which he said, has become “silent killer”.

Last year, the initiative of drug de-addiction policy took shape after Chief Secretary BVR Subramanayam took cognizance of the after media reported extensively about drug abuse.

The policy was reviewed by experts from premier Institutions of AIIMS, PGI, NIMHANS, TISS, Directorate of Health Services, Govt of India and also opinions were received from various civil society groups and the public in the state of J&K.

The policy was finalized on  December 10, 2018, after incorporation of views and opinions from experts.  On January 9, 2019, SAC approved the draft de-addiction policy for the state of J&K.

Head department Psychiatry Department Dr Maqbool said the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (IMHANS) has successfully treated 12000 patients indulging in substance misuse from across Jammu and Kashmir in its two centres.

“Our de-addiction policy in comparison to other policies has thrust on demand reduction rather harm reduction,” he said.

He said the de-addiction policy is based on principles of prevention, integration, community participation and integral sectorial collaboration.

GMC principal Dr Kaisar Parvez described the policy as a breath of fresh air deviating from the usual trend of medicalizing the whole issue without looking at social, legal and other aspects necessary to tackle the menace of substance

After the policy was implemented different stakeholders Started a multipronged comprehensive fight against the drug abuse, the two centres of the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (IMHANS) has successfully treated 12000 patients indulging in substance misuse from across Jammu and Kashmir, said an official statement.

To create awareness about drug abuse at grassroots and for long-lasting education on one of the major challenges facing our society, the experts of the IMHANS have reached to schools and conducted training programs for teachers and awareness workshops for students to decrease school dropout rates and delinquency, it said.

The statement said that the Social Welfare Department has issued instructions for capacity Building programmes and provided Grant in Aid to the NGOs working on Drug De-addiction.

The social welfare department is constructing two Drug De-addiction Centres at Kulgam and Tral under Centre Sponsored Schemes which are expected to be functional in 2019-20, it said.

The Government Medical College Jammu treated 369 patients for drug dependence and conducted 17 awareness programmes in Jammu region while as the SKIMS held an awareness program for the general population and treated 64 patients, it added.

As part of the campaign against drug abuse, the Directorate of Information played audio clips in cinema halls and radio stations to raise awareness against illicit drug use. It also conducted 87 workshops in 33 schools and 18 colleges in 25 villages and towns of the State. Also, short films, quizzes and debate programmes were telecast to take the message to the maximum population through electronic media, it said.

The Jammu and Kashmir State AIDS Control Society interacted with 3360 people through its 20 Red Ribbon clubs and conducted awareness programs in five schools with an enrolment of 1962, said the statement.

“It also imparted training to 210 persons under Training of Trainers Programme and covered 1750 people in 35 programmes under Out of School Youth Programme,” it said.

The AIDS Control Society also targeted intervention Projects for 2457 Intravenous Drug Users and provided free of cost lab Tests in 2065 High-Risk Group population.It also provided Oral Substitution Therapy to 1616 people, condoms to 2457, and referred 23 patients to Drug Deaddiction Centre Srinagar, it added.

The Food and Drug Control Organization has conducted 6008 inspections in Kashmir province and 4640 inspections undertaken in Jammu province. It carried out 166 suspensions of defaulters along with seizures of illegal Spasmo-Proxyvon tablets and tramadol injections. It also initiated prosecution against the criminals, said the statement.

The Directorate of Health Services (DHS) conducted 544 awareness programmes in the community involving both the Jammu and Kashmir provinces. The DHS also conducted 121 awareness programmes in schools all over the state and also 170 govt employees were sensitized to drug misuse and its effects, it said.

“Also, 790 medical officers were trained under the department in de-addiction. The School Education Department renamed the Drug De-addiction Clubs as “Health & Wellness Club” which have been constituted in all educational institution of Kashmir Division with District Level clubs in all the districts.”

It conducted a workshop on “Substance Abuse among Young Population: Challenges and collective responsibilities” in Winter coaching centres across Kashmir Valley. It also distributed 10000 pamphlets/posters among students and set up Counselling cells at District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) where it conducted 60 awareness camps in which 140 teachers were trained under SAMAGRA.

The Excuse and Taxation department via Nukkad Natak, conference rallies and awareness programmes conducted programmes on existing laws for farmers, students and the general public. The department has successfully destroyed cannabis and poppy on 8625 and 2306 kanals respectively in Srinagar.

“The Youth Services and Sports Department conducted 621 awareness programmes and covered10 lac population in rural and urban areas. It also built 10 recreational centres built in 40 areas with approx 4000 beneficiaries,” it added.

The YSS department also set up 70 running facilities in schools and local playgrounds which are accessed by 4.9 lac youth. It mobilized 5 lac youth by registration in various youth-related schemes, said an official statement.

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