Punjab CM seeks PM Modi’s help to curb drug menace

Chandigarh: Reiterating his demand for a national drugs policy to check the drug menace, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention, an official said on Sunday.

Urging him to advise the Ministries of Home, Social Justice and Empowerment and Health and Family Welfare to address the issue with more seriousness, the Chief Minister asked the Prime Minister in a letter to formulate a national policy on three components.

They are enforcement, de-addiction and prevention of drug abuse so as to enable all states to follow similar, if not the same, approach and strategy to curb this menace, a government spokesperson told IANS.

Amarinder Singh has expressed his state’s willingness to associate with the officers concerned, not only to evolve the policy but also to put in place an effective mechanism for its implementation in the larger national interest.

Highlighting the fact that Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan and has strategic significance for the safety and security of the country, Amarinder Singh raised the security concerns emerging out of narco-terrorism which were rather more grave in the context of Punjab.

Sharing his government’s path-breaking initiatives in the last two years to check the drug menace and to expand its outreach at the grassroots, the Chief Minister asked Modi to extend liberal financial support to increase and strengthen the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment Clinics in Punjab, currently being run on meagre state resources.

The state has also launched two programmes — Drug Abuse Prevention Officers and Buddy Programmes — in order to prevent drug abuse.