Eradication of Drug Abuse/Drug Dependency and to promote A Drug Free Society/District
The Action Plan is based to achieve the following objectives
1.Reduction in demand of Intoxicants by taking preventive measures towards awakening and education programme.
2.Identification of addicts and referring them to the Drug De-addiction Centre for detoxification.
3.Reduction in supply of Intoxicants.
4.Training of the grass root level workers regarding anti-drug abuse knowledge.
The following programmes in this respect are to be under taken
1.This Centre will organize frequent Seminars/ Lectures/ Declamation Contests/Rallies, etc, in various Higher Secondary Schools, Colleges, Institutions, Regional Research Centres, Punjab Agriculture University, involving N.C.C., N.S.S. Cadets and other NGOs.
2.One Mega Awareness-cum-Counselling-cum-Treatment Camp, in the District at the Sub Divisional level where addicts are also checked.
3.The Seminars/Camps at the Truck Unions Head Quarters/Bus Depots, on quarterly basis.
4.The Departments like Health, Revenue, Block Development, Social Welfare, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Police, having large number of grass root level workers who have contacts with the people at large, and individually, should spread awareness by organizing small group meetings, and even contact with the addicts. They can be trained through Drug De-addiction Centre for this purpose.
5.Regarding the reduction in the supply of the intoxicants, Health and Police Department may jointly intensify checking and raids as per provisions of the law, especially in the rural area.
FORMATION OF VILLAGE LEVEL COMMITTEE
Village level committees consisting of four members, viz the Village Sarpanch, Patwari, Social Worker, Health Worker, preferably a local Government Doctor, may be constituted, who will undertake the following actions in order to curb addiction
1.Identify all the addicts of the area, as well as the suspected Drug suppliers.
2.They should adopt long-term measures to eradicate addiction from the area.
3.Arrangements to be made to collect profile of all the addicts.
4.To keep a close and constant watch over the addicts and Drug suppliers.
5.It is desirous to start a “Nasha Virodhi Squad” to save people from addiction.
CONSTITUTION OF BLOCK LEVEL COMMITTEE
Chairman : B.D.P.O.
Convener : SMO/MO
Members : C.D.P.O.
Nehru Yuva Kendra Clubs.
All religious bodies.
Social Workers of the areas.
The Block level Committee is to meet every month to discuss ways and means to eradicate the addiction in their respective blocks.
CONSTITUTION OF SUB DIVISION LEVEL COMMITTEE
Chairman : S.D.M.
Convener : Senior Medical Officer.
Members : Tehsildar.
Executive Officer, Municipal Committee.
All B.D.P.Os in their respective Sub Divisions.
Nehru Yuva Kendra Clubs.
All Colleges Principals.
Heads of Religious bodies.
The Sub Division level Committee is to meet after every three months to review the progress of steps taken to remove addictions.
FORMATION OF VILLAGE LEVEL COMMITTEE
Bharat Vikas Parishad.
All India Women Conference.
Red Cross Hospital Welfare Section.
Arya Samaj Sabha.
Sri Gurudwara Singh Sabha.
Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle.
The Salvation Army (Christian Socio-religious body).
The Evangelic Church.
Brahm Kumari Sabha.
Ahmedia Jamayat at Qadian.
District Environment Protection Society.
Principal of all the Institutions.
THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN AT THE LEVEL OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT
1. To confer the powers of Drug Inspectors upon all the Senior Medical Officers in the District keeping in view the shortage of these Inspectors, to curb the malpractices being adopted by some unscrupulous chemists in selling the intoxicated drugs.
2. A separate ward in each Civil Hospital may be opened for the treatment of the addicts, as alone the Red Cross De-addiction Centre is unable to cope with the rush of the addicts in the Centre.
3. To curb the mushroom growth of the opening of the chemists’ shops in small villages, which are instrumental in selling the intoxicated drugs to the youth in particular. Similarly, a number of quacks have set up their medical shops in the villages which are playing havoc with the lives of the youths by supplying them intoxicated drugs. Their antecedents should be got verified and appropriate action taken under the relevant provision of law.
4. A syllabus about drug abuse may be started from the primary schools onwards so that the students may be taught against the abuses of drugs at the primary stage.
5. The sports and games should be made compulsory part of the Educational syllabus in the schools and colleges to enable the youth to remain healthy and physically fit and this will help the youth not to fall prey to addiction.
6. The sale of medicines should only be restricted on the prescription of qualified doctors as prevalent in other States like J&K, Maharashtra, etc.
7. A rehabilitation colony for the settlement of addicts after detoxification be set up where they should be kept busy in some work like manufacturing of candles, etc, so that they may not go for addiction again.
8. The role of the Registered Medical Practitioners operating in villages also need to be investigated because coming across several cases have alleged that they were hooked to drugs after getting injected with medicines by the RMPs. Another facet of drug addiction in Punjab is the lack of facilities to treat women drug addicts. This Centre has treated only seven women who have been addicted to Alcohol and pills although there were only two specific cases where the women were addicted to injections and successfully kicked the habit. A separate ward for such women is the need of the hour.
9. It is clear that easy access to prescription drugs in the State must be curbed immediately. There has been unabated growth of chemists’ shops in urban and rural areas on the State and the unscrupulous persons running some of them have been making illegal sales in connivance with the authorities. Inadequate monitoring of chemists by government agencies explains why abuse of prescription drugs in on the rise. The State, which is already one of the highest per capita consumers of Alcohol, may add another dubious distinction of being one of the largest consumers of prescription drugs if the Government does not take preventive steps in time.
10. Considering the profit, a chemist would not hesitate to pay a drug inspector handsomely to look the other way. In many villages today, one can see fully stocked and flourishing shops that were mere shanties five years ago. The Drug Inspector needs to be mistrusted, accordingly.
11. It is worth mentioning that a bottle of cough syrup that used to cost only Rs. 13 or so a few years ago today sells for more than Rs. 60. There are chemists who have been caught repeatedly for selling banned drugs. What do you need to get a bottle of codeine-based cough syrup? The price of the bottle and nothing else! It is found that the tablets and cough syrups used by drug addicts are easily available across the counter, no questions asked. Under the NDCP Act with its stringent provisions and long prison sentences. No wonder, ‘nasha’ inducing medicines is the drugs of choice today.
12. Since the NGO of Drug De-addiction-cum-Rehabilitation Centre is Punjab State Red Cross Branch and the 90% funds are being provided by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, and the Punjab State Red Cross Branch shares the 10%. The State Government in the Department of Social Security of Women & Child Welfare, Punjab, Chandigarh, may be requested to consider the following for bringing efficiency in the working of the Drug De-addiction Centres.
MOST IMPORTANT SUGGESTIONS
Some of the additional recommendations mentioned below regarding the Action Plan against Drug Abuse require your kind attention conscientiously for the eradication of addiction prevailing especially in the Border Districts of Punjab
– To be considered by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.
13. We are one of the 420 treatment centres in India which is run by International NGO Red Cross Society, Punjab State Branch, Chandigarh. This Centre has main focus on creating awareness and providing services such as detoxification, psycho-therapy, counselling, rehabilitation and treatment of other relevant disorders in consultation with a renowned medical specialist. But the plight of the project is in missing of one or the other important link which is conducive towards, but invariably inhibit in, imparting proper care, such as, shortage of Grants/Funds, inability of the Centres to afford expertise services, and with the meagre funds sanctioned, the services are not so easy to be provided according to the level of education of a particular age group and profession and that too, in some of the remote areas of the district where even facilities like proper roads are not present.
i) It is being observed that there is a great need to address the issue of drug abuse/ harm reduction among groups vulnerable to adverse risks and which are often socially and economically excluded from the major part of the community, such as adolescent drug users, injecting drug users, and poor and illiterate drug users.
ii) Situation analysis of basic education, vocational education and development of sustainable livelihoods of the individual addict is being done in the Centre with the sole aim to improve our understanding of the holistic needs of drug users within a large education framework, but no provision of grant has been made for this unique project.
iii) The Centre need to be provided with appropriate education packages to address the needs of those drug users who are illiterate, completed only primary level schooling or to assist with gaps in education as a result of dropping out of school prematurely. The centre lack in the capacity to undertake this task mechanism and needs to be developed to form partnership with those agencies that could assist client group. Centre such as ours, should be independently evaluated and reviewed for quality assurance to determine if and how the capacity could be built to provide basic education, vocational education and livelihood skills for drug users.
iv) Exploring the need and special requirement for HIV and drug information other than that produced in Hindi and English has been considered quite way back we have been able to provide information material such as pamphlets, hand bills, etc, has been got printed, besides, a booklet named “Nasheyan Di Daldal” (Swamp of Addiction) has been published in the vernacular in the year 2008, which contained article written by notable writers and experts in the field of addiction. This book touches almost all facets of addiction and which has proved useful for quite a number of addicts to come forward for detoxification at the Centre. This booklet is being provided to the all those living in drug prone areas to the age group which is likely to fall prey to addiction. Sufficient funds need to be provided to publish and circulate such material in order to educate the people from addiction.
v) The need of alternative employment being recognized a long time ago by the staff of this Centre has been more widely explored and micro-credit programs linked to small business ventures that may not required extensive training and appropriate to the capabilities of drug users has been given greater prominence, with collaboration between appropriate NGOs and Government agencies to provide such training regularly like Horticulture Experts, Dairy Development Expert, Poultry Department, Bee Keeping and Mushroom/Dhingri Cultivation Training by Agriculture Department, Fishery Department for keeping fish, Training for manufacturing Chalks and Candles. Besides, Computer training such as Networking, Hardware, Software and Mobile repair training at the Centre has also been started in collaboration with AMP Solution, Chandigarh, under the Rehabilitation programme from 10th January 2008. No funds under the rehabilitation programme have been provided.
vi) Time and again it has been found of great importance that the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment needs to take into consideration improvement in funding as a pilot project associated with agencies that provides basic education and the fostering of livelihood skills. This Centre has been regularly in correspondence with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, in this regards. The Scheme has been revised and came into effect from October 2008. This is certainly going to ensure of greater benefit to the impoverished drug users and those isolated from supportive networks to gain social and economic reintegration. With the improvement in the funding the scope of rendering better and efficient services, even by the staff members, is likely to widen extensively.
vii) For improvement in rendering better services to the addicts this Centre hold regular meetings with its Staff Members and the Members of the Advisory Committee consisting of the elites of the town and coming from all walks of life. These have been able in greatly assisting the addicts with drug treatment and examine their ability, capacity and know how, to include at least one component of education, be it basic, vocational or livelihood skill training. Provision of funds for the regular component needs to be considered.
viii) All efforts are being made to provide facilities to the addicts towards their rehabilitation and assistance is also been provided as the under-mentioned, to make him earn a respectable livelihood for himself and his family after the treatment is over.
– Assessment processes and procedures to identify appropriate vocational education training for drug users
– Networking with other agencies for vocational training
– Preparing the clients for attending job interviews
– Preparing and assisting the clients as to how to write bio-data when needed
– Assisting and facilitate the process for employment replacement
– Empowering family members to take up vocational training (mainly family members of relapsed clients)
– Assisting the addict in getting loan from the bank to start his own business or small scale industry, or a shop.
But lack of adequate staff is hindrance in the total implementation
14. It is need of the hour that Jobs/employment Opportunities training must be provided to rehabilitate those who undergo Drug de-addiction and want to lead a normal life. Un-employment is a major factor leading to frustration and drug abuse. There are persons for whom peddling is the only means of livelihood.
15. The problem is too serious to find description. Only sincere and serious effort by the State and Central Governments, much-needed awareness campaigns, important and active role of NGOS can help in the implementation of Drug Reduction Programmes and bring awareness amongst the Masses against the Drug Abuse. Rising cases of spurious drugs is an urgent need to effectively monitor so as to contain this menace by the Ministry of Health, Government of India.
16. Rising cases of spurious drugs is an urgent need to effectively monitor so as to contain this menace by the Ministry of Health, Government of India.
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN REGARDING PREVENTION OF ADDICTION
1. Materials like posters/hand bills/pamphlets to be provided for the purpose of awareness campaign which is one of the major role of the Drug De-addiction Centre.
2. CDs of films along with projectors to be given to the Centre for awareness purpose.
3. Slides towards awareness toward prevention of drug abuse to be shown in Cinemas, etc.
4. Special funds for this purpose to be provided to promote the Awareness Campaign.