The Himachal Pradesh government will frame an integrated drug prevention policy for the state, which would include the policy of drug prevention, treatment, management and rehabilitation/ social/integration programme.

This was stated by chief minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the first meeting of the HP Nasha Nivaran Board, which was held here on Wednesday.

The chief minister said that better coordination between the Police, media and the Nasha Nivaran Board is vital for curbing the menace of drug abuse in the state. He said that a large number of drug peddlers were from the neighbouring states.

He said that it was on his initiative that steps were taken to chalk out a joint strategy to check drug menace in the region. He said that a meeting was held at Panchkula in Haryana in which chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh participated.

He said that all the chief ministers and representatives of other northern states agreed to share the information regarding drug trafficking. He said that another meeting was hosted by Punjab in which the Chief Minister of Rajasthan also participated.

He said that this initiative proved a grand success in checking the menace. Thakur said that the state government has decided to open six drug de-addiction centers in the state.

He said that drug abuse also results in the increase in crime rate. He said that the state government is also contemplating to frame SOPs to regulate and control already functioning integrated Rehabilitation Centres for addicts and de-addiction centres to ensure better services to the needy in the State.

The CM said that official surveys would be conducted to know the extent and pattern of drug production, diversion of psychotropic substances including Precursors and the Magnitude of drug abuse in the state.

He said that a state-wise drug awareness campaign/ sensitization programme would be started in which elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, NCC Cadets, NSS volunteers and Mahila Mandals would be involved. He said that the existing State Narcotics Control Cell of the state Police would be strengthened to effectively tackle this menace.

The chief minister said that the state government is determined to curb the problem of drug menace in the state as it continues to be a serious social problem across the State and country. He said that with a view to checking drug menace, the state government has chalked out a comprehensive plan for it.

He said that a major part of the anti-drug strategy of the state government focuses on certain drugs originally derived from plant sources such as cannabis and opium.

The state government has taken stringent steps against cultivation and eradication of these plants.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi said that the executive committee of the Board would be constituted and regular meetings would be held for proper implementation of the recommendations of the Board.

He said that all the line departments would work with greater coordination for synchronization of various initiatives of the State government to make Himachal Pradesh a ‘Drug Free State’.

Convener cum Advisor of HP Nasha Nivaran Board O.P Sharma made a presentation on ‘Prevailing Drug Situation in Himachal Pradesh’ in the meeting.

He said that intensive mass awareness and sensitization campaigns must be launched to sensitize the people of the state regarding ill-effects of the drug abuse. He said that use of intoxicants not only negatively impacted the wellbeing of the individuals, but also distorted society and led to heinous crime, poor health, poor performance in education.