‘Grassroots-level awareness needed to end drug menace’

Thiruvananthapuram: Building grassroots-level awareness, targeting families and the public, is the effective way to root out drug menace, said excise minister T P Ramakrishnan. Inaugurating the state-level anti-drug workshop on Wednesday, he said that implementing a law to ban addiction is not the policy of the government. “The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act enacted by the Centre is ineffective in Kerala. We had requested the Centre for an amendment, but it was not heeded,” Ramakrishnan said. The workshop was conducted by state’s drug and addiction-free mission ‘Vimukthi’, launched by the excise department, as part of the ongoing 90-day anti-drug awareness drive on the theme ‘Tomorrow’s Kerala Addiction-Free Kerala’. “Library councils have a close connect with the common man and they must be used for achieving Vimukthi’s goals. The proposed anti-drug clubs under public libraries across the state should work responsibly to contain the grave situation and take forward the initiative,” he said, adding that politics should not be a hindrance while involving people in anti-drug campaigns. “There are de-addiction centres in all districts and each centre has 10 beds. Government has decided to increase the number of beds at these centres. Counselling centres are functioning in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. A Rs 100-crore model de-addiction centre will be opened at Kinalur in Kozhikode, with central aid. Treatment facilities, a job skill development project and rehabilitation will be implemented at the centre,” the minister said. tnn

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