Delhi Govt to support drug addicts through treatment, counselling

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New Delhi, Jun 24 (UNI) As part of efforts to free the city of the menace of drug abuse, the Delhi Government has adopted a strategy of building 'preventive awareness' and effective recovery of addicts through medical treatment and counselling.

Addressing a press conference here on the eve of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illegal Drug Trafficking, being observed by the UN General Assembly on June 26 since 1987, Delhi Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Minister Yoganand Shastri said the Prohibition and drug abuse prevention unit of the department had been educating people about ill effects of vices like drinking and drug abuse.

''In the recent past, drinking and drug addiction is on an alarming increase and it has crossed all the barriers and reached into the homes of all sections of society that is economically weaker sections and elite class and especially the youth,''Mr Shastri said.

He said there had been increase in supply of drugs through internet, a trend that has become a matter of concern.

The Delhi Social Welfare Minister said the government has developed information, education and communication materials to impart knowledge about drugs through radio, television, newspapers and other mass media. He said since Metro trains are becoming popular amongst Delhiites with large numbers of students utilizing services of these trains and many of the stations situated near schools and colleges of Delhi varsity, the Department had displayed 100 panels inside metro coaches for a period of 8 months on the theme of prohibition and drug abuse for the educating the masses.

Another step is the sensitization of residents of various J J and Resettlement Colonies and other areas inhabited by Lower Income Group (LIG) masses, as they are the big sufferers since in some of the families their whole income ends in buying substance of abuse.

The department has engaged NGOs working in that particular area so that various preventive awareness activities could be carried out regularly and addicts are guided to get treatment at various drug de-addiction centers. Under this campaign, 150 educative nukkar-nataks were performed in various JJ Colonies of the capital.

In addition, a Helpline is running for the addicts and families by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. The help line Tel No is 1800-11-3872 on which Counsellors provide counselling and guidance of addicts and their families. The department had played a major role in establishment of this Help Line.

Dr Shastri informed that the Government of India under its Scheme of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse is providing financial assistance to Non-Governmental Organisations for running Counselling Centres and De-addiction centres for drug abuse awareness generation for all categories of people including youth.

A National drug awareness campaign is launched every year on the occasion of International Day against Illicit Trafficking and Drug Abuse on June 26 and special camps are organised for making people aware about the ill-effects of drug abuse.

UNI AR SV UCS1850

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