Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday announced free distribution of medicines to drug addicts being treated at de-addiction centres of government hospitals, community health centres besides the medical colleges at Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot.
Presiding over a meeting with senior officials of the state health department and principals of government medical colleges here, Badal asked them to launch a vigorous mass awareness campaign to sensitise the youth to wean them away from drug addiction.
He asked the principal secretary, health, to engage services of experts and eminent psychiatrists to educate drug addicts about the ill-effects of drug addiction, an official spokesperson said.
To curb this menace effi-ciently, the chief minister also underscored the need to constitute a committee, comprising a drug de-addiction officer, social security officer, medical officer and a police officer at each district headquarters.
These committees would be monitored by a central committee headed by principal secretary (health) and comprising director, State Narcotics Cell, senior officers of the health department and eminent psychiatrists as members to oversee the functioning of these committees and would also issue necessary directions from time to time to achieve the desired objective besides regularly updating the chief minister.
Badal also asked jail authorities to treat drug addicts lodged in jails as indoor patients so that they could lead a normal life after giving up the addiction.
He directed jail superintendents to ensure that these patients must be treated on priority for detoxification by the dedicated teams of doctors and psychiatrists of the medical colleges attached to respective jails.