De-addiction Centres Derailed
In News: An inspection report of close to 100 de-addiction centres was submitted by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority in the High Court. The government has decided to adopt 15 districts in the country on a pilot basis, to implement an intensive action plan for de-addiction and make the districts drug-free, according to the redrafted National Drug Demand Reduction Policy.
National Drug Demand Reduction Policy: By Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
The incident: Earlier in the month of June, a 29-year-old man at a drug de-addiction centre in the national capital was allegedly beaten to death by a caretaker and two others, for defecating in the open at the centre. Following the incident, the Hindu had carried a report on the dire conditions of the centre.
What is the issue?
- Rampant irregularities and torture of inmates that are prevalent at New Delhi’s de-addiction centres
- Ill- treatment of inmates: Subjected to sexual and physical torture, asked to perform sexual favours, and is not allowed to contact their families. Some inmates have allegedly died from the torture they were subjected to
- Centres lack in basic infrastructure and hygiene, indicating the absence of maintenance and minimum standards of hygiene leading to a majority of inmates having “skin infection or allergy”
- Bribery, corruption and misuse of authority
- Lack of trained manpower, administrators and failure in following set procedures
Responding to the study, the High Court reportedly said: “The right of basic human dignity of persons desperately in need of care and treatment is being violated with impunity.”
- Integrated and comprehensive action plan would be carried out in the pilot districts initially for a period of one year for reduction in number of drug addicts and make these districts drug free.
- It also proposed regulation of over the counter sale of sedatives and pain killers with the involvement of departments concerned both at the central as well as the state level
- Proposes upgrading existing de-addiction centres in these pilot districts to treatment clinics to provide for both inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities
- De-addiction centres would be set up in 25 factories and major industrial establishments – 25 prisons, 25 juvenile homes and in 25 separate de-addiction centres for women in prisons.
The Way Forward
- Needs to be structured in a manner that is patient friendly and people friendly
- Structured crime syndicate operated by drug warlord and has political depth as well – the government needs to break it
- Higher focus need to be provided to States that requires immediate attention
- Need to understand the factors that are driving them to consume so that we can better design the de-addiction process, and going forward for the rehabilitation process – a course prevention is better than cure and the police has a major role to play as far as the prevention is concerned.
- Police leadership needs to be taken into consideration and be trained to deal with these issues. Police needs to have absolutely zero tolerance towards drug peddlers and should be made responsible for the menace that is caused by them.
- Need to start from the beginning: Legal, health and school authorities need to tackle it head on right from the beginning. Focus should be more on prevention.
- Budget, training of administrators and the care and empathy of the best de-addiction centres: Need to study the best practices, and replicate it by providing the appropriate training and facilities here. Minimum standard of care should be provided.
- Right of people should still be the same and not any less than that of people outside that centres. Gross violation of human rights need to be tacked on an immediate basis.
- Unregulated de-addiction centres which are not equipped to handle this problem should be banned immediately. Strict regulations should be established and zero tolerance towards misdemeanours need to be practiced.
- These 15 centres should not just be like other centres but should be centres of excellence.
Must Read: Link
Connecting the Dots:
- Examine the steps that are being taken by the Government for a better framework for the provision of de-addiction facilities? What are the various ways, according to you, in which this alarming situation can be handled?