Gurdaspur police come up with strategy to rehabilitate drug addicts : The Tribune India

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Gurdaspur police come up with strategy to rehabilitate drug addicts

Gurdaspur police come up with strategy to rehabilitate drug addicts

Police personnel assist drug addicts at the Red Cross De-addiction Centre in Gurdaspur on Monday. Tribune Photo



Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, July 8

The usually displeased-looking anti-drug enforcement officers of Gurdaspur police have taken on the roles of Good Samaritans, eliciting praise from various sections of society.

Give chance to youngsters

We need to give a chance to the youngsters. They are often concerned about how long it will take to recover, develop an escapist attitude and eventually relapse. — Harish Dayama, SSP Gurdaspur

They have devised a plan in which they would bring young addicts to rehabilitation centres for a ‘complete overhaul of their lives’, rather than imposing the ‘dreaded’ NDPS Act on them.

Gurdaspur is a border district where drones carrying packets of heroin dropped near the International Border feed the addiction.

The police observed that once the non-bailable NDPS act was imposed on a youth, their life changed forever, and their chances of returning to the mainstream became slim.

Consequently, the police have invoked Section 64 (A) of the NDPS Act, which states that those caught with small amounts of drugs (less than 5gm) will not face prosecution if they seek rehabilitation.

SSP Harish Dayama said, “We need to give a chance to youngsters. They are often concerned about how long it would take to recover, develop an escapist attitude and eventually relapse.”

Every morning, cops bring scores of addicts to the Red Cross De-addiction Centre, which has 30 beds. Project Director Romesh Mahajan described it as a positive step by the police.

There are four more rehabilitation centres in the city that are working to keep the rush under control.

Parents may be aware that their children have become addicted to heroin but are hesitant to approach the police for fear of societal backlash. “I informed a police officer that my 17-year-old son had been caught in the drug trap. The officer spoke with my son, and the next thing I noticed was that they were walking hand in hand to the rehabilitation centre. A week later, my son returned home completely recovered,” said Kailash, a shopkeeper.

According to Romesh Mahajan, the state government should ease the supply of Buprenorphine, a recovery drug. “This drug is always in short supply. With the cops launching a unique drive, we expect the state government to be generous in releasing Buprenorphine so that addicts do not experience withdrawal symptoms,” he added.

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