SRINAGAR: The ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Tuesday implemented a “central sector scheme of assistance for prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse.”
The Scheme has the provision of financial assistance to non-governmental organisations, panchayati raj institutions, urban local bodies for running and maintenance of integrated rehabilitation centre for addicts, and to provide composite services for the rehabilitation of the addicts. These IRCAs are responsible for preventive education and awareness, generation programmes in their neighbourhood, educational institutions, workplace and slums with the purpose of sensitizing the community about the impact of addiction and the need to take professional help for treatment.
Total number of beneficiaries under the scheme from 2014 to 2017 are 435420.
The ministry has setup a national toll free drug de-addiction helpline from 7th January, 2015 to help the victims of drug abuse, their family and society at large.
The last national survey on the extent, pattern and trend of drug abuse was sponsored by the ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in the year 2000-2001, and its report was published in 2004. It was estimated that about 732 lakh persons in India were users of alcohol and drugs. Of these 87 lakh used Cannabis, 20 lakh used opiates and 625 lakh were users of Alcohol.
However, the Ministry has, in the month of August, 2016, assigned the work of conducting the national survey on extent and pattern of substance use in India to National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS – New Delhi. The survey will provide national and state-level estimates of proportion and absolute number of people who use various substances and people who are suffering from substance use disorders.
This information was given by minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Vijay Sampla, in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.