Initiatives in India to help say No to Drugs

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PIB Feature on International Day Against Drug Abuse

New Delhi, June 26, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) Every Year 26th of June is observed as an “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”.

The Government recognizes Drug abuse as a psycho-socio-medical problem, which can be best handled by adoption of a family/community-based approach by active involvement of NGOs/Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and has been taking several initiatives to help say no to drugs.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as the nodal ministry for drug demand reduction, coordinates and monitors all aspects of drug abuse prevention which include assessment of the extent of the problem, preventive action, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, dissemination of information and public education. The Ministry provides community-based services for the identification, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary organizations.

The strategy for demand reduction is three pronged:

a)Awareness Generation and educating people about ill effects of drug abuse.

b)      Community based intervention for motivational counselling, identification, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, and

c) Training of volunteers/service providers and other stakeholders with a view to build up a committed and skilled cadre.

National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation

A National Consultative Committee on De-addiction and Rehabilitation (NCCDR) under the chairpersonship of Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment was constituted in July, 2008. The Committee has representation of various stakeholders, which also include agencies dealing with supply and demand reduction.   The Committee advises the Government on issues connected with drug demand reduction, education/awareness building, de-addiction and rehabilitation of drug-addicts. The first meeting of the Committee was held on 10.12.2008. Two major recommendations emerged in the meeting :

·         To bring about further necessary changes in the Scheme for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse and

·         To formulate a national policy on Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and rehabilitation of its victims

A sub-committee of the NCCDR was constituted on 28.02.2009 to take necessary steps in regard to both the above recommendations.

National Institute of Social Defence

Training is an important component for capacity building and skill development for the service providers. It is important to have exposure to the new trends regarding the kind of drugs abused, medical and psychiatric problems, new medicines/methodologies available for the treatment of addiction through participation in training programmes and conferences.  Updating and training through refresher courses also needs to be provided to existing staff. A National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention   (NCDAP) was established in 1998, in the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) at New Delhi to serve as an apex body for training, research and documentation in the field of alcoholism and drug demand reduction. The number of training programmes organized by NISD in collaboration with RRTCs on Drug Abuse Prevention during the eleventh Plan period are as under:

.  Year

Training Programmes

2007-08

98

2008-09

57

2009-10

76

2010-11

59

Total during first four years of eleventh Plan is  290

Regional Resource and Training Centres

Eleven Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), with long years of experience and expertise in treatment, rehabilitation, training and research have been designated as Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs) for different regions of the country. These serve as field training units of National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention (NCDAP) on various aspects of demand reduction.  RRTCs provide the following services to the NGOs working the field of Drug Abuse Prevention:

• Documentation of all activities of the NGOs including preparation of Information Education Communication (IEC) material.

• Undertaking Advocacy, Research and Monitoring of drug abuse programmes.

• Technical support to the NGOs, Community Based Organisations and Enterprises.

To implement its three pronged strategy for Drug Demand Reduction, the Ministry is implementing a Central Sector Scheme of ‘Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse and for Social Defence Services’. This is the flagship scheme of the Ministry in the field of drug demand reduction.  The Scheme has two parts viz. (i) 'Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse' and (ii) 'Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence' .

Observing 26th June as International Day Against Drug Abuse

To mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse, every year the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launches a national level awareness campaign. Appropriate awareness generation programmes are also organized  by the State Governments, related central Ministries, all the Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs) and Delhi based NGOs. The main programme is organized in New Delhi every year where Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment chairs the function.

Awareness through NYKS and Bal Bhavans

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan has started an awareness generation programme in the States of Punjab and Manipur. This programme will cover 3000 villages covering 15 Districts in the State of Punjab and 750 villages covering 9 Districts in the State of Manipur. Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan through its network of volunteers at village level will create awareness about the ill affects of alcoholism and Substance (Drug) abuse among the rural masses, identify the addicts and organize de-addiction camps for these addicts. The whole programme will be completed in one year time.

The Ministry in collaboration with National Bal Bhavan has also started an awareness generation programme among the children of the age group of 12-16 years. It will be implemented through a series of activities like poster making, creative writing, lectures, rallies, nukkad nataks etc at local, zonal and national levels.

Community Based Intervention

Under the Community based intervention financial assistance is provided for identification, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary and other eligible organizations. Under this scheme, financial assistance up to 90% of the approved expenditure is given to the voluntary organizations and other eligible agencies for setting up/running Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs), Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs), for holding Awareness-cum-deaddiction camps (ACDC) and Workplace Prevention Programmes etc.  In case of North-Eastern States, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, the quantum of assistance is 95% of the total admissible expenditure. The balance has to be borne by the implementing agency.  The Scheme was last revised in October 2008. Some of the important features of the revised scheme are:

• honorarium rates for service providers of the Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCA) projects have been enhanced

• provision for food for inmates who are below poverty line (BPL) has been introduced at the rate of Rs. 900/- per month per inmate

• Panchayati Raj Institutions/Urban Local Bodies have been included under the organizations/institutions eligible for receiving assistance under the scheme and

• 15 and 30 bed IRCAs can be upgraded to 20 and 40 beds respectively, in the urban areas and the North-East.

Financial Assistance in the field of Social Defence

Second Part of the Central Sector Scheme of ‘Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse and for Social Defence Services’ provides for financial assistance in the field of social defence. The objective of the scheme is as to meet urgent needs falling within the mandate of the Ministry which cannot be met under its regular schemes and to support such initiatives of an innovative/pilot nature in the area of welfare and empowerment of the Ministry’s target groups, as cannot be supported under its regular schemes.

Financial assistance is given up to 90% of the approved expenditure to the voluntary and other eligible organizations. In case of an organization working in a relatively new area where both voluntary and Government effort is very limited but the need for the service is very great the Government may bear up to 100% of the cost.

The major funding under the scheme has been to the Jammu & Kashmir Rehabilitation Council for Rehabilitation of Widows, Orphans, Handicapped and Older Persons affected with terrorism. During 2007-08 to 2010-11, an amount of Rs.300 lakhs was released every year to the Council.

Other Ministries

In addition to the Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs), which are financially supported by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also supports 122 de-addiction centres in District Hospitals.

Inputs from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India



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