Mukherjee calls for generating awareness of deleterious effects of drug abuse

New Delhi, June 26 (ANI): Emphasizing on the need to make a greater effort to generate awareness of the deleterious effects of drug abuse in a sustained, continuous and result oriented manner, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said efforts should be made to develop a nationwide, community-based system of prevention that connects stakeholders at every level.

"While de-addiction and rehabilitation centers have an important role to play, appropriate and timely educational inputs would be most effective in steering the curious, or those at risk, away from such substances. In fact, efforts should be made to develop a nationwide, community-based system of prevention that connects stakeholders at every level," said President Mukherjee.

"Together, and hand in hand with local organizations, they can deliver solutions that are responsive to the diverse and specific needs of the affected and the susceptible," he added.

President Mukherjee said the Constitution of India, in Article 47, specifically directs the State to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs that are injurious to health.

"The Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985 makes stringent provisions for the control of illicit trafficking of drugs; it empowers Government to establish centres for the prevention and treatment, of drug addiction. Government of India's National Policy on Narcotics drugs and Psychotropic Substances is, therefore, aimed at prevention and supply control," said President Mukherjee.

"However, in addition to the policy framework, it is imperative for us to simultaneously improve our delivery mechanisms. Schemes and programmes should effectively reach the target groups - including through partnerships with the private sector and civil society. They should be in keeping with the evolving needs of the vulnerable sections of our society," he added.

President Mukherjee said drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs continue to have a profoundly negative impact on social development and stability in societies across the world.

"Addiction to drugs and alcohol not only fells individuals, but it also deeply impacts the life and morale of all those connected to them. The worst sufferers are their families. Their preoccupation with a family member who has fallen prey to alcoholism or drug addiction is a curse; their misery weakens the very fibre of their society," said President Mukherjee.

"For a nation like India, given our demographic profile, alcoholism and drug abuse are a matter of serious concern. There is an urgent need for concerted efforts of all stakeholders to prevent and eradicate this menace," he added.

President Mukherjee called upon coalitions of teachers, faith-based groups, health care providers, law enforcement officials, and all community leaders to join together to address, in a comprehensive but sensitive manner, alcoholism and substance abuse in their respective areas.

"We can - each of us individually - and all of us together, make a valuable contribution that could be far reaching in its effect," he added.

President Mukherjee, who presented the national awards for outstanding services in the field of 'Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse' on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at a function at the Vigyan Bhavan here, congratulated the awardees and convey his appreciation to them for their efforts and achievements.

"You represent the spirit of hope and you will inspire many. I also extend my felicitations to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment whose initiative this is - and wish them success in their future endeavours," he said. (ANI)

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