Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
Asserting that the state government has achieved enormous success in battling the drug menace, Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the number of drug addicts, reporting for treatments at Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of various health centres in the state, has increased by 126%.
Speaking during the launch of the second phase of Drug Abuse Prevention Officer Initiative in Tarn Taran on Thursday, Capt. Singh said as against 1.82 lakh addicts who reported at various OPDs for treatment in 2016; the number had gone up to 4.12 lakh in 2017.
“As many as 5,107 youths are being treated at the government rehabilitation centres and another 17,667 in private hospitals,” he told Times of India.
Observing that the poor academic results can be one of the contributing factors of frustration among young adults, thereby pushing them towards negative influences like drugs, Chief Minister also stressed upon the need to improve the education system. He told Hindustan Times: “Low education levels were one of the factors contributing to frustration among youth, driving them towards negative influences such as drugs.”
Capt. Singh said that improving the education system in the state is the government’s top priority now.
According to Indian Express, The Chief Minister also announced setting up of Nasha Roku Nigram Committees, the launch of the OOAT (Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment) centres at 60 sub-divisions of the state and the Buddy Programme.
The Buddy Programme will be launched in schools for counselling all students against the consumption of drugs. It will cover all students from class VI onwards, starting with the students of class IX in the first phase.
Talking about the OOAT clinics, the Chief Minister pointed out that as many as 29 clinics were already operational in some districts including Moga, Amritsar and Tarn Taran, with more than 4,400 patients already registered.
Lauding the efforts of the special task force (STF) in eliminating the drugs from the state, Chief Minister urged the people of Punjab to come together and fight against drug menace and help in whichever way possible in rehabilitating the affected youth.
On the other hand, Punjab BJP President, Shwait Malik challenged the Capt Amarinder government to prove the success of the DAPO programme’s first phase, launched in March, earlier this year.
Alleging that drug trade is still ubiquitous in Punjab, the BJP chief said that the first phase has failed to yield any worthwhile result and that the second phase of the programme has been launched just to fool the innocent people of the state.
Also published on Medium.
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