Punjab: CM announces free treatment for poor drug addicts

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced free treatment for poor drug addicts at all state-run de-addiction centres.

Following a meeting with civil surgeons, medical superintendents and principals of the government medical colleges, the Chief Minister ordered the police not to harass addicts or their families in any way, read a statement.

He even directed to ensure that necessary funds for free treatment are immediately placed at the disposal of the concerned deputy commissioners.

Amarinder Singh said that he would sanction funds from the chief minister’s relief fund if needed. He even directed the state health department to explore the possibility of seeking financial aid from reputed national and international health organisations, besides engaging with the NGOs already working to fight drug abuse.

The Chief Minister would personally take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge him to intensify Centre’s efforts to prevent entry of drugs and narcotics into Punjab from the adjoining states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the release stated.

This comes after Singh ordered a mandatory dope test for all government employees last week.

The move was a part of the series of initiatives taken to eliminate drug menace from Punjab.

The orders came when the Punjab Chief Minister formally communicated his Cabinet’s recommendation to the Centre, seeking an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act to provide the death penalty for first-time offenders too. (ANI)