Chandigarh, Jan 15 (IANS) Over three lakh drug addicts were treated in Punjab in 2018 and more than 63,000 people are currently being treated, out of which 25,000 are heroin addicts, a top police official said on Tuesday.
The retention rate is 91.71 per cent, Director General (Special Task Force) Mohammad Mustafa told reporters here.
The Special Task Force, constituted by the state in April 2017, has been implementing a three-pronged strategy of enforcement, de-addiction and prevention (EDP) to combat the menace of drugs.
The action plan named Comprehensive Action against Drug Abuse is aimed at choking the supply of drugs through enforcement and reducing the demand through de-addiction and prevention.
Mustafa said a multi-layered monitoring and implementing mechanism has been put in place. The Cabinet sub-committee on drugs headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is monitoring it.
He said the outpatient treatment being rendered at 168 Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment Clinics is a great success.
To make students aware about the ill-effects of drugs, the Buddy Project has been implemented.
Approximately five lakh Drug Abuse Prevention Officers have been registered, 1,500 cluster coordinators and 15,000 Nasha Roku Nigran Committees are being trained through 523 master trainers.
Under this project, he said, 329 master trainers are training three lakh school teachers and college lecturers who will impart skills to approximately 40 lakh students.
He said 27 lakh students have already been covered.
A separate drug division is being set up in the Department of Health for efficient drug administration and better monitoring of de-addiction.
The Punjab Chief Minister in October 2018 sought a national drug policy to save the young generation, saying a comprehensive formula was needed at the central level to effectively check the drug abuse.
Earlier, six northern states unanimously decided to set up a common secretariat, to be based in Panchkula near Chandigarh, for data and information sharing, which was critical to the joint action.
The states that have joined hands are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Delhi as also the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
The meeting accepted the suggestion of Amarinder Singh to hold regular meetings at various levels to tackle the problem and monitor the progress of the anti-drug fight.