Delhi plans dedicated drug rehab centres for city's children

Delhi currently has no comprehensive programme for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addict children in the city.

With thousands of street children becoming victims of drug abuse in the Capital, Delhi government is now planning to start dedicated juvenile drug de-addiction centres in six major Delhi hospitals.

According to a government official, 30 beds have been earmarked in PT Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, GB pant hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Ambedkar Hospital, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital and Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS) each for juvenile drug addicts. The official further informed that attendants will be provided for each child.

As such there is no comprehensive programme launched by the government for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addict children in Delhi. "An intersectoral co-ordination committee for comprehensive response for drug abuse prevention and de-addiction services in Delhi has been formed to look after the program for juvenile drug abuse."

ANOTHER CENTRE PLANNED IN TILAK VIHAR

Government has also planned to commission 30-bedded deaddiction centre at the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) building in Tilak Vihar. At present, there are three government hospitals such as RML, AIIMS and IHBAS with OPD for de-addiction clinics for juveniles including one polyclinic at Tilak Vihar. There are about seven government opioid substitution treatment centres (OST) in the Capital.

Officials also pointed out the scarcity of psychiatrists and lack of trained clinical psychologist in the government hospitals. The move comes after Mail Today reported the government survey on 70,000 street children being a victim of drug abuse.

The survey reported that out of 70,000 children, about 20,000 children consume tobacco, 9,450 children are addicted to alcohol, 7,910 use inhalants while cannabis are used by 5,600 children. Consumption of heroin was reported to be consumed by 840 and pharmaceutical opioids and sedatives consumed by 210 children each.

The government has made provisions for basic amenities for street children and safer environment for prevention of substance abuse with interventions to focus on enhanced contact with friends and safety networks, an official said. Besides that, Delhi government has also recommended mohalla clinics to be set up in schools.

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