The burgeoning narcotic trade in various parts of Himachal Pradesh has seemingly set alarm bells ringing for the government. With this, the health department has now decided to set up drug de-addiction centres in all the civil hospitals in the state.
“Drug abuse is certainly one of the biggest concerns for the Himachal government,”health minister Kaul Singh Thakur told Hindustan Times. “In wake of the rising drug menace, the health department will set up drug de-addiction centres in all civil hospitals across the state. We will do it step by step,”Thakur added.
Drug abuse amongst youth has added to the worries of the state government, which is mulling over making various strategies to curb the menace.
“In the first phase, drug de-addiction centres will be set up in the civil hospitals having capacity of more than 150 beds, while in the second phase it will be added in the hospitals that have more have 50 beds,” Thakur said, adding that the government had also decided to establish the centres in both the state-run medical colleges — Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College in Tanda and Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh had recently convened a meeting, comprising various heads of departments, to chalk out a long term strategy for tackling the drug menace. Singh had set up a high-level committee under the chairman ship of chief secretary P Mitra for the same.
The illicit drug business in Himachal Pradesh has been attracting many drug cartels towards the state. In the wake of huge potential profits, many pharmacies are indulging in illicit sale of pharmaceutical drugs through internet, while the youth in rural areas of the state are abusing psychotropic drugs that are easily available. Drug abuse in the state is more amongst the youth in the age group of 18 to 25.
Meanwhile, governor Acharya Dev Vrat has called for a meeting of government officials on drug menace at Raj Bhawan on November 3.
The Himachal police have formed a special team, headed by Una superintendent of police, to tackle drug trade in the area.