In a bid to eradicate drug abuse and illicit trafficking, Punjab government has made a three-pronged strategy based on enforcement, de-addiction and prevention (EDP) for comprehensive action against use of drugs which is being implemented meticulously at the ground level by the Special Task Force (STF) in association with concerned state departments and volunteers.Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of state government said the STF has been supervising and guiding the district police officers to formulate an area specific strategy under this drive and implementation of NDPS Act effectively in the State. "The objective of the enforcement strategy is to choke the supply lines of drugs and carry out effective action against drug smugglers and peddlers", he added.He informed that the STF constituted by the Captain Amarinder Singh's Government to combat the drugs problem in Punjab has successfully choked trans-border and interstate-border drugs supply lines, with a whopping 16,305 NDPS Act cases registered and 18,800 people arrested since March 16, 2017. In addition to this narcotics substances like Heroin 377.787 kg, Smack 14.336 kg, Charas 116.603 kg, Opium 1040.531 kg, Poppy Husk 50588 kg and Ice 9.035kg including injections 44929 and pills/capsules 48,10,540 have been confiscated by the district police and STF.The spokesperson further revealed that state health department has also launched the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) model on a pilot basis in Moga, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts and 60 additional OOAT centers have been made functional across the state to provide easy access to de-addiction treatment.
The objective of treatment centers was to provide easy and accessible treatment to all drug abuse victims, he added.In order to make Punjab as a drug free state, the Drug Abuse Prevention Officers (DAPO) programme was launched by the Chief Minister to protect vulnerable sections from falling prey to drug abuse and generate awareness regarding ill-effects of drugs. ''Approximately 4.8 lakh volunteer DAPOs have already been registered who were facilitating those in need to avail of de-addiction and rehabilitation services in the state'' he said.Declaring zero tolerance approach towards drug abuse, the spokesperson added that the Punjab Government has also constituted Nasha Roku Nigran Committees, having total 15,000 members, in each and every village/ward of the state to train and coordinate all activities being undertaken by the DAPOs. Under this campaign the DAPOs are motivating people to participate in positive activities by making use of local resources with the aim to declare each locality as a "nasha mukt mohalla," he informed.Sharing details, he said STF in collaboration with the education department has launched the ‘Buddy Programme’ as a pilot project in the four sub-divisions of Tarn Taran district to protect school and college/university students against drug abuse. The STF has trained 545 teachers and principals for implementing this programme in their respective schools to educate them about the ill-effects of drugs and developing requisite behavioral skills to refuse drugs.