Drug abuse continues to be a serious social problem across the State and country. The lives of thousands of people are blighted by their dependence on drugs. Drug-related crimes have increased tremendously and the immense profits made in the illicit drug trafficking have influenced the organized crime and expanded it.
Showing keenness to check drug menace, the State Government has chalked out a comprehensive plan for it. 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 drugs generating plants.
The State Government is carrying out a Cannabis/ Opium Eradication Campaign from 22nd August, 2016 to 5th September, 2016 to adhere the objective of Cannabis/ Opium free Himachal Pradesh. In the campaign the eradication of Cannabis/Opium is being carried out on all lands including Gram Panchayat, forest, PWD, IPH, Agriculture, Horticulture lands, roadsides, etc. The Cannabis/ Opium Eradication campaign is being implemented in the entire State in effective manner.
Under this campaign the State Government has till date succeeded in uprooting 1, 88, 50,152 cannabis/opium plants and disposed off 1, 64, 98,175 plants in 1527.05 hectare area. In order to intensify the Cannabis/Opium Eradication campaign the State Government has also deployed Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) for addressing the issue in high altitude regions and provided them with modern equipments for cannabis/opium destruction.
The State Government’s counter-narcotics efforts have also received remarkable success. As a result of the State Government’s efforts, cannabis crops on 19157.2 bighas of Government land and 6040.57 bighas of private land and 76093 poppy plants have been destructed by the Himachal Pradesh Police Department, till date.
Under the counter-narcotics initiative of the State Police 266.25 kilogram of cannabis and its derivatives, 2385 kilogram opium and its derivatives, 104538 tablets and capsules and1967 Codeine/ Corex bottles has been seized in the State, during 2016 till date.
A special campaign has been started by the State Police from May 2016 in Nurpur and Damtal areas of District Kangra to eradicate drug abuse and an additional battalion force has been deployed for this purpose. During this special campaign, 119 cases had been registered under ND &PS Act during the year 2016, out of which 68 cases were registered during special campaign. During the year 2016, under ND&PS, 27 cases of financial investigation were conducted or were being conducted.
Under the anti-drug initiatives, the State Government has launched special drives to detect ND&PS cases that are launched periodically by the State Police. Special drives to curb drug menace amongst the youth are being organised near schools and colleges time to time under Community Policing Scheme.
With a view to strengthen the narcotics cell within the State, Government has also sanctioned funds amounting to Rs. one crore to the State Police for the storage facility of drugs and psychotropic substances in the districts, which has been equally disbursed among all districts.
The State Health Department has also started a De-Addiction Programme, as one of the main component of Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK). Under this programme, De-Addiction Centres have been made functional in all Regional and Zonal Hospitals of the State. One Clinical Psychologists and one Medical Social Worker are appointed in all these Centres. These Clinical Psychologists and Medical Social Workers are also imparted training for this job at National Institute of Mental Health And Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangaluru. These Counsellors also conduct at least four field visits in a month in different institutions for IEC activities.