National policy to fight drug abuse on cards


NEW DELHI: The government is set to pass the country’s first national policy to fight drug addiction that proposes specialist doctors and facilities to treat addicts in all government hospitals and accreditation of de-addiction centres. 

The final National Policy on Drug Demand Reduction — which also calls for attention to addicted women and children, and a networked system to target highly afflicted and underserved districts — would be brought before the Cabinet for approval this month, government sources said. 

A group of ministers (GoM) headed by home minister Rajnath Singh gave its go-ahead to the policy in July, and now the ministry of social justice and empowerment is set to bring it before the Cabinet, sources said. 

Data collation would be key to the country’s fight against drug abuse. According to sources, the government would get data from all states and identify vulnerable districts that report high number of drug abuse cases and are underserved by the current healthcare system. These districts would be identified as “severely affected” and then a strategy would be framed to address their problems, they said. 

The government also plans to train doctors in all government hospitals over the next five years to treat addicts of substance abuse. “The aim is to ensure adequate facilities in all government hospitals by 2022,” the policy states. ET has reviewed a copy of the proposed policy. 

It has also proposed accreditation of de-addiction centres to standardise treatment and facilities provided in coordination with ministry of health and family welfare, and other stakeholders. The policy has also proposed separate and specialised de-addiction treatment centres and facilities for drug-dependent children and women.