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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Delhi govt to map drug usage in city, open centres for counselling and treatment

The initiative, “Suryodaya”, will work at two levels — the community level led by youths who will be trained to carry out outreach activities and opening of drop-in centres at highly vulnerable spots for drug users to seek refuge.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: August 26, 2021 11:27:46 am
The East Delhi Municipal Corporation had, in a survey carried out in 2018-19, found rampant addiction even among children in Classes 3 to 5. (Representational Photo)

The Delhi government is launching an initiative to map the usage of drugs among street children, youth, young girls and vulnerable groups, such as sex workers to encourage them to seek counselling and treatment at centres proposed to be set up at the grassroots level.

The initiative, “Suryodaya”, will work at two levels — the community level led by youths who will be trained to carry out outreach activities and opening of drop-in centres at highly vulnerable spots for drug users to seek refuge.

One of the components of “Suryodaya” will be aimed at assessing and mapping drug usage in the community. Those identified as addicts will be assisted in terms of counselling, treatment and rehabilitation, according to the plan drawn up by the Women and Child Development Department.

The outreach programme will be led by peer educators, who will essentially be picked from within a particular community including those with history of drug usage in the past. Initially, 20 such peer educators will be appointed.

The second component of “Suryodaya” involves establishment of drop-in centres at selected spots to conduct outreach activities as well as provide a safe and secure space for drug users for screening, assessment and counselling.

“Gradually, these centres shall be developed as therapeutic care and wellness centres to promote a healthy life. For overall improvement in individual lifestyle, a number of other services, such as skill-based learning to improve mental and physical well-being, educational counselling, recreational activities, and rehabilitation measures shall be added,” the plan states.

The centres will also have doctors with the experience of handling drug users to assess physical and mental health issues, treat them, and provide referral services to large healthcare facilities.

Police and government reports over the years have been pointing to the growing necessity of targeted interventions among the city’s youth to reduce dependency on drugs. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation had, in a survey carried out in 2018-19, found rampant addiction even among children in Classes 3 to 5.

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