On a high! Kochi gets dubious distinction

The Department of Social Justice in Ernakulam will roll out an intensive campaign to curb substance abuse.

Published: 17th June 2021 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2021 03:29 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: According to a report with Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ernakulam along with five other districts in Kerala is on the list of 272 districts in the country with a high substance abuse rate

The Department of Social Justice in Ernakulam will roll out an intensive campaign to curb substance abuse. A recent report submitted by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has placed Ernakulam and five other districts of Kerala —Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Malappuram and Kozhikode — among the 272 districts in India with high rate of substance abuse.
Ernakulam district social justice officer K K Subair said a month-long campaign of the department will be launched by Higher Education and Social Justice Minister Dr R Bindu on June 26 (International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking). In 2020, the Central government had distributed `10 lakh each to the affected districts to address the menace and spread awareness. 

“A total of 203 awareness classes were held till March 31. This included 133 offline and 70 online classes. Around 60 master volunteers were trained in Ernakulam for taking two-hour sessions. Six sessions over two days were held under the Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan project by the Centre in 2020. Though the campaign was supposed to close on March 31, 2021, it went on till August 15 due to the lockdown,” the officer said.

First-of-its-kind de-addiction centre exclusively for women and children will be operational soon in Karukutty under the title ‘Nilmal Niketan’. The centre will be maintained by the same management that currently runs a similar home, Mukthi Sadan, in Pookkattupady, said Subair.

Outreach & Drop-in Centre
The district social justice office will also associate with Rajagiri College, Kalamassery, for an Outreach & Drop-in Centre that helps reduce the use of drugs, protects the victims of drug abuse and helps the addicted population recover. 

To conduct outreach activities among adolescents and youngsters in the community
To provide safe and secure drop-in space for addicts with facilities for screening, assessment and counselling
To refer patients to treatment and rehabilitation


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