Drug de-addiction centres to come up in 10 districts of J&K UT

Proposal submitted to Social Justice Ministry, buildings identified
Process of selecting NGOs to be finalized shortly

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Jan 21: As drugs and substance abuse is adversely affecting the social fabric at an alarming rate, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has approached the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for establishment of drug de-addiction centres in 10 districts under Scheme of National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that keeping in view the alarming rise in the drug abuse across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Social Welfare Department, on the directions of the Advisor R R Bhatnagar, has formally approached the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the request to establish drug de-addiction centres in those districts, which are considered as hot-bed of the activities of narco smugglers.
“The Ministry has conceded the proposal of the J&K Government and assured all possible assistance under the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction. Even one building each in 10 districts has been identified by the Government for establishment of de-addiction centre”, sources said.
They informed that J&K Government is only required to provide the buildings while as all other facilities will be created by the Ministry directly or by providing sufficient funding to the J&K Government administration. “At present, the process of selecting Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for running these full-fledged drug de-addiction centres is going on at the Ministry level as per the provision of the Scheme”, sources added.
It is for the first time that serious efforts are being made by the administration for making available de-addiction facilities on such a large scale as previous Government never paid any serious attention towards this important aspect of reducing the impact of the menace.
“The National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction is an umbrella scheme under which all the projects, components and interventions have been converged and are being implemented in focused manner with flexible utilization of funds allocated and human resources engaged for the scheme, which is effective from April 1, 2020”, sources said.
Disclosing that establishment of drug de-addiction centre is one of the major thrust area under the National Action Plan, they said that under the scheme the Union Ministry provides financial assistance for drug treatment clinics for outpatients while for inpatients it provides assistance for running and maintenance of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts, also known as drug de-addiction centres.
“The drug de-addiction centres will provide services for identification of addicts, motivational counselling, detoxification/de-addiction and whole person recovery, after care and reintegration into the social mainstream”, sources informed, adding “if any de-addiction centre provides treatment to less than 75% of their annual targeted beneficiaries then financial assistance will be stopped in subsequent financial year and that centre will be de-registered from the Scheme”.
In response to a question, sources said that procedural formalities will be completed within next few months and hopefully before June this year 10 drug de-addiction centres will be made operational to provide much needed assistance to the administration in tackling the menace.
“No doubt some de-addiction centres are being run by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in some areas but keeping in view the intensity of the situation there is requirement of establishment of de-addiction centres in at least 10 districts as the same play an important role to make drug addict free of addiction”, sources said.
Few days back, EXCELSIOR had exclusively highlighted that Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur districts in this region and Anantnag and Srinagar in Kashmir valley have turned into hotbed of drug abuse while as over 26,000 kilograms of narcotics and more than 4.58 lakh intoxicants of different types were sized by various wings of Jammu and Kashmir Police during the year 2020.
EXCELSIOR had also stressed that in view of the alarming situation, the proposal for creation of exclusive courts to deal with cases registered under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) is required to be cleared by all the concerned departments of the Government at the earliest as the early disposal of cases strictly on the basis of professional investigation will go a long way in discouraging those thriving at the cost of health and future of youngsters.