Drug de-addiction centres

Fighting the ever increasing menace of drugs, its trafficking, entrapping of more and more people especially the young ones into its use, addiction and playing havoc with physical conditions , social and economic fibre of individuals and societies , pumping of sale proceeds into activities prejudicial to the safety and security of the country and the like, has the other front too to be taken equally care of. That is how to free the ones from the shackles of the addiction of drugs or employing measures towards their drug de-addiction. Drug de- addiction has much more to its aim besides making the drug dependent gradually free from and virtually get rescued from the whirlpool of taking drugs as an ingrained developed habit without which possibly the victim may feel difficult to live. The process may look just simple but it is not so . The addiction has to be fought on medical grounds, on psychological grounds, on social grounds and on rehabilitating grounds. The focus, therefore, must be on three broad fronts – how supply of drugs could be contained, how demand for drugs fell and how minimum rather no harm due to drug abuse could be for the victim addict. So, that denotes how best and effective preventive measures were put in place. There must , therefore, be an organised , well established and professionally managed such spots where such victims could be refined , ameliorated, freed and finally disciplined to lead a normal life. For all this, deaddiction centres are needed to admit such addict victims for proper and comprehensive ”revamping”. There is a scheme in place in this respect known as National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction under which the UT Government of Jammu and Kashmir has approached the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for establishment of such centres in ten districts. In this connection, we feel that since the Central Government provides one time financial grants to States /UTs for establishment of these centres, recurring expenses are to be borne by the UT Government. Once established , these centres should not later suffer on account of recurring expenses required to run them as that would run counter to the very objective behind setting up of such centres. However, it is learnt that more facilities could additionally be provided by the Union Ministry directly or by providing additional funds to the UT to keep such centres functioning effectively. Anyway, such steps should have been taken much earlier as the scourge of drugs abuse is not newly born in Jammu and Kashmir but much in place for the last three to four decades during which its spread has been not only consistently phenomenal but has been making inroads in more and more areas and to put it in conservative perspective , it is currently prevalent in more than ten districts of the UT. However, it is a step which will really prove of immense help in taking care in a sustained way of the drug addicts especially from those areas which are considered and known to be hotbeds of drugs and narcotics smugglers and traffickers. It may be noted that such centres are not only de-addiction centres but comprise both the aspects – prevention or deaddiction and rehabilitation measures. For result oriented in-patient treatment, it is incumbent upon the medical authorities as also those in Administration to provide fully trained medical personnel in such centres. A well developed drug abuse monitoring system will take care of pattern of drug use and profile among individuals seeking the said treatment. We feel such a step having been taken for the first time in the UT by the Government is commendable even though the malaise of drug abuse had been there for years in a row and addressing its aftermaths vis-a-vis rescuing the affected and rehabilitate them, perhaps, was no one’s concern in Jammu and Kashmir central scheme and assistance being there to be availed of notwithstanding. Now that the concerned National Action Plan effective from April 2020 which is more flexible and encompasses various facets and related projects in respect of measures needed to address deaddiction, we hope a perceptible change in the scenario to take place in the UT. The thrust, however, need to be on preventive measures which mean all concerted war against drug smugglers and traffickers and prosecuting them in special exclusive courts ensuring maximum and deterrent conviction coupled with more and sustained awareness measures.