THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday said that there has been a three-fold increase in drug abuse after bars were closed in the state.
“After the bars were closed, the use of drugs has gone up by three times in the state,” he told the Assembly in reply to a question. As part of the UDF government’s liquor policy, all the bars in the state except 24 five-star bars have been closed down.
On a specific question if there were reports of any link between terrorist activities and drugs, he said that Maoists were promoting cultivation of ganja plants. Noting that ‘narco terrorism’ was a threat not only to India but the whole world, he said that the state had taken all steps to tackle such activities.
Moreover, he said there is an increase in the number of young people using drugs and other psychotropic substances, many of them freely available in all medical stores. The Home Minister said 228 of the 234 psychotropic drugs can be availed from medical shops. The Health Department will hold discussions to make sure that such medicines are not freely available over the counter, he said.
The Home Secretary will be entrusted to hold discussions with Censor Board officials to restrict films that show drug abuse. On a question regarding inclusion of anti-drug awareness material in school text books, Chennithala said that the Education Department has already taken steps in this regard.
He said that the government had come out with various programmes to keep the schools and colleges away from drugs.