NEW DELHI: To step up the battle against drug use and alcoholism, the
on Friday rolled out its action plan for 2020-21 with focus on building treatment and de-addiction facilities in 272 districts identified as vulnerable based on prevalence of substance abuse and access to drugs. The focus will be on reaching the youth and the high risk population.
Since 125 of the 272 districts do not have Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs) supported by the Centre, it has been decided to set up addiction treatment facilities in government hospitals through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Officials of the social justice ministry have written to states to identify hospitals in vulnerable districts where treatment facilities can be set-up.
Minister of state for social justice, Rattan Lal Kataria on Friday launched the action plan under the “Nasah Mukt Bharat” campaign in 272 districts on International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The list of 272 districts includes 18 from
, which has been struggling to deal with the drug problem. In Maharashtra, four districts — Pune, Nagpur,
and Mumbai — have been identified as vulnerable. In Delhi, all 11 districts are vulnerable and treatment facilities are proposed to be set up in north, west and
, around 33 districts have been identified as vulnerable.
has eight vulnerable districts.
There are currently 495 IRCAs across states with in-patient facilities. According to officials, the focus in the 272 vulnerable districts will be on not only creating institutional treatment facilities but also setting up drop-in-centres for addicts and also on peer-led community based outreach programmes for high risk populations – particularly the youth. The drop-in centres will have provision for screening, assessment and counselling and would provide linkage to treatment facilities.
MSJ&E secretary, R Subrahmanyam shared that the outreach will be more community centric and not just focused on institutional care. From Rs 49 crores in 2017-18 the fund for this programme has increased to Rs 260 crores in 2020-21, he shared.
Going by the findings of the ‘Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India’ report 2019, of the estimated 16 crore alcohol consumers in the country, 19% were dependent on alcohol. Around 5.7 crore users required treatment. Among drug users 72 lakh required treatment for
, 60 lakh for opioids and 11 lakhs for sedatives.