More drug de-addiction centres mooted across India

Admitting an absence of credible data affording an insight into the drug abuse situation in the country, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik said he has suggested setting up of more drug de-addiction centres across India.

Wasnik said he has suggested to the union health ministry to consider setting up of centers, like “national drugs dependent treatment centre, which is functioning at All India Institute of Medical Sciences”, in different parts of India as it would be a big step in dealing with drug abuse.

He was speaking after releasing the International Narcotic Control Board ’ s (INCB) 2009 annual report here.

“I would have to admit that data available on drug abuse has not been of such a nature that can give us a total insight into the entire situation,” Wasnik said.

He added that his ministry has been coordinating with other ministries on the issue and a big network of about 350 voluntary organisations is involved in dealing with the situation.   The INCB report highlights that rates of drug abuse tend to be higher among teenagers and young adults.   Another new trend noted by the report is increase in young women using drugs – the gap with the level of drug use by young men has narrowed substantially.

It said: “Primary prevention strategies need to focus on the whole population, as such strategies can reduce demands for drugs as well as identify gaps or population that is not sufficiently served.”   “Primary prevention needs to begin with prospective parents, by raising their awareness of the harms caused by drug, alcohol or tobacco abuse during pregnancy,” it added.

“Drug education is an important prevention component in early adolescence. Nightclubs, discotheques, bars and music festivals are key locations for getting messages about drug abuse across the older adolescents and young adults, as well as colleges and universities,” the report said.

It said that besides other steps, there needs to be collaboration with NGOs and others to tackle drug abuse.

Source:Times of India 25th Feb 2010

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