Family & Society Should Come Forward and Help Drug Addicted People to get them Back to the Society – Thaawarchand Gehlot

New Delhi: Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment said thatfor those who are addicted to drugs, only advise and education is not going to be enough. These people need to be seen as those suffering from a disease. We need to provide appropriate medicine and counseling for those suffering from the diseases of addiction. There is a need also to ensure that these treatments are available to everyone easily and without discrimination. Another important aspect is about stigmatization of these individuals. Even if these people stop their drug use, they continue to be discriminated by the society. Addressing at the inaugural session of “XXI Annual Conference of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM 2019)” here today, he said that the family and society should come forward and help such individuals to get them back to the society, start working and become productive members of the society.

He said that his Ministry is the nodal agency for demand reduction activities related to substance use disorder and it had commissioned a national level survey to assess the extent of substance use in India, and AIIMS was asked to conduct the study for the Ministry. The report was released in February 2019 and shows that large number of people need help for their addiction problem. The Ministry has taken note of the problem and has initiated step to scale up programmes and interventions for people with addiction. Itis also working with school and college going students and with children dropping out of schools to ensure that they do not start taking drugs. It has started to increase the number of treatment centres for treatment of drug addiction in the country. The Prime Minister has also emphasized on providing care and support for people affected by drug abuse in his radio-talk ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Addiction in a Rapidly Changing World”.The conference has been organized by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) and Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi in collaboration with the World Psychiatric Association, the World Association of Social Psychiatry, the Indian Psychiatric Society and the Indian Association for Social Psychiatry.Theconferenceissupportedbythe Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, MinistryofHealth&FamilyWelfareand the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government ofIndia.

ISAM 2019 is being attended by the delegates from more than 30 different countries. The 4-day event is witnessing more than 40 lectures by prominent international and national experts in prevention and treatment of addiction and more than 80 symposia and workshops on various aspects of addictive disorders.The International Society of AddictionMedicine(ISAM)isaninternationalcollaborationofphysiciansworkinginthefield of addictive disorders that supports its members and affiliate organizations in delivering high- quality patient-centred care all over the world.

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