President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday expressed concern over the growing alcoholism and drug abuseand advocated a comprehensive programme with focus on making the addicts productive members of society after getting them off alcohol and drugs.
“The aim of the comprehensive treatment programme should not merely be to get the addicted individual off alcohol or drugs… Making the addict productive members of the society by making them drug free, crime free and gainfully employed is what is required,” he said.
Giving away national awards for outstanding service in the field of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse to mark the ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’, Mukherjee also highlighted the vulnerability of the younger generation to the menace as he pitched for major preventive programmes to deal with it.
Drug menace continues to spread its tentacles across the country acquiring ever-growing dimensions, he said, adding that while the drub abuse was on a rise the social values like self-restraint and discipline which were inherent in joint family system were eroding.
The fight against the menace should not be confined to reducing the availability of drugs but also deal with social condition which create social conditions that cause demand for them. It was necessary to encourage individuals and families to seek assistance for problems related to alcoholism and drug abuse, he said.
Mukherjee noted that the Constitution-makers were aware of the dangers of alcohol and drugs and that is why they said in directive principles that state should work towards prohibition.
On an event held to mark ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’, Mukherjee said there was an urgent need to provide a whole range of community based services for the identification, counselling and de-addiction of addicts along with their after care and rehabilitation.
“Alcoholism and drug abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem requiring a holistic approach,” he said. In this connection, he said, the importance of skill building and vocational training of drug dependent persons for their effective social and economic reintegration cannot be over emphasised.