Govt. of India Initiatives
Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse for Social Defence Services (effective from 01.01.2015)
'Scheme of Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse and for Social Defence Services’ is the flagship scheme of the Ministry in the field of drug demand reduction. The Scheme has two parts viz.
'Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse' (Part I). The cost norms of the Scheme have been revised w.e.f. 1.1.2015.
'Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence' (Part II).
Assistance to Voluntary Organizations for Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
The Scheme of Assistance for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse is being implemented for identification, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary and other eligible organizations.
Under this scheme, financial assistance up to 90% of the approved expenditure is given to the voluntary organizations and other eligible agencies for setting up/running Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs), Regional Resource and Training Centres (RRTCs), for holding Awareness-cum-de-addiction camps (ACDC) and Workplace Prevention Programmes etc.
In the case of North-Eastern States, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir, the quantum of assistance is 95% of the total admissible expenditure. The balance has to be borne by the implementing agency.
Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence
The Scheme of ‘General Grant-in-Aid Programme for Financial Assistance in the Field of Social Defence’ aims to: a. Meet urgent needs falling within the mandate of the Ministry which cannot be met under the its regular schemes andb. Support such initiatives of an innovative/pilot nature in the area of welfare and empowerment of the Ministry’s target groups, as cannot be supported under its regular schemes.
Financial assistance is given up to 90% of the approved expenditure to the voluntary and other eligible organizations. In case of an organization working in a relatively new area where both voluntary and Government effort is very limited but the need for the service is very great, the Government may bear up to 100% of the cost.
Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for 272 Most Affected Districts E-Launched on International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking Today
“Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for 272 Most Affected Districts’ was e-launched by Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” here today.
On this occasion, he also released Logo and Tagline for National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction and 9 Video Spots produced for Drug Abuse Prevention. Secretary, M/o SJ&E Shri R. Subramaniam and Joint Sec retary Ms. Radhika Chakravarty were present. Representatives from State governments and NGOs also participated online.
dressing on the occasion, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment observes 26th June every year as “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”. It is the nodal Ministry for drug demand reduction which coordinates and monitors all aspects of drug abuse prevention which include assessment of the extent of the problem, preventive action, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, dissemination of information and public awareness.
The Minister said that Nasha Mukt Bharat Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 would focus on 272 most affected districts (list in Annexure) and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept.
The Action Plan has the following components: Awareness generation programmes; Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools; Community outreach and identification of dependent population; Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings; and Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.
He said thatbased on the finding of the National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India and list of districts which are vulnerable from the supply point of view provided by Narcotics Control Bureau, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment would undertake intervention programmes in vulnerable districts across the country with an aim to: Reach out to Children and Youth for awareness about ill effect of drug use; Increase community participation and public cooperation; Supporting Government Hospitals for opening up De- addiction Centers in addition to existing Ministry Supported De-addiction Centers (IRCAs); and Conducting Training programme for participants.
The Minister said that his Ministry provides community based services for the identification, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through Voluntary Organizations. It provides financial assistance to NGOs across the country for running de-addiction centres. The Ministry has also set up a 24x7 National Toll Free drug de-addiction helpline number 1800110031 to help the victims of drug abuse, their family and society at large.
Shri Kataria said that the Ministry has also prepared a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction for the period 2018-2025 which aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families.
The Action Plan includes components for preventive education and awareness generation, capacity building, treatment and rehabilitation, setting quality standards, focussed intervention in vulnerable areas, skill development, vocational training and livelihood support of ex-drug addicts, State/UT specific interventions, surveys, studies, evaluation and research etc.
Shri Subramaniam in his address said that the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking is at Society level andso we have to involve Communities along with health department officials with focus on our youths. He said that the funds for this programme in the year 2017-18 was Rs 49 crores and now in the year 2019-20 it was Rs 110 crores and in the year 2020-21, the fund has been increased to Rs 260 crores, i.e. more than 5 times. It shows our commitment to tackle this grave problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Taking cognizance of the fact that addressing the problem of drug abuse requires concerted action at different levels of the Government, the Ministry has asked the State Governments to plan and take specific initiatives, taking into account their local considerations and devise specific and suitable strategies for drug demand reduction in their identified areas. The State Governments have also been involved in the monitoring process for programmes under the NAPDDR in order to ensure its effective implementation.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment could not conduct the presentation of the National Awards for outstanding Services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking today.
Anti Drug Action Plan for 2020-21
Recently, on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking an annual Anti-Drug Action Plan for 2020-21 for 272 districts was launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The plan includes awareness generation programmes, identification of drug-dependent population, focus on treatment facilities and capacity-building for service-providers to curb drug abuse and alcoholism.
Drug abuse or substance abuse is the use of illegal drugs (Heroin, Morphine, Opium etc), or the use of prescription drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used.
Action Plan for 2020-21:
- De-addiction Facilities: These would be set up in the “most affected” 272 districts identified by the Narcotics Control Bureau focussing on building up treatment and de-addiction facilities and giving emphasis on reaching the youth and high risk population.
- The districts mostly belong to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the North-East.
- Drop-in-Centres for Addicts: The focus will be on setting up drop-in-centres for addicts and also on peer-led community based outreach programmes for high risk populations – particularly the youth.
- These centres will have provision for screening, assessment and counselling and would provide linkage to treatment and rehabilitation services for drug dependents.
Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs): Funded by the Ministry, IRCAS would reach out to communities to help those affected by drug addiction.
Drug-Free India Campaign: The ministry also announced the launch of the ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat’, or Drug-Free India Campaign which focuses on community outreach programmmes.
To step-up the battle against the severe challenge posed by drug use and alcoholism, the campaign will focus not just on institutional support but also on community outreach programmes in the districts identified in coordination.
- Awareness and Sensitisation: Apart from celebrity backed ‘Say No to Drugs’ publicity campaigns, national level campaigns are planned across schools and higher education campuses to sensitise youngsters, parents and schools about the issue.
- Enhanced Funding: Ministry would ramp up greater funding for institutions to curb the drug abuse
National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, conducted a National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi during 2018, which is key to the action plan for 2020-21.
It is estimated that about 850,000 Indians inject drugs, about 460,000 children and 7.7 million Indians require help for opioid dependence.
As per the survey, the prevalence of opioids (a type of drug e.g. Heroin) use in India is three times the global average
Challenges to Curb the Drug Menace:
Related Data: The findings of the “Magnitude of Substance Abuse in India” report 2019, revealed the estimated 16 crore alcohol consumers in the 10-75 years in the country, as many as 19% of them were dependent on alcohol.
Legally Available Drugs: Such as tobacco is a huge problem which is usually seen as a gateway drug which children take just to experiment with.
- Lack of Availability of Rehabilitation Centres: There is a lack of rehabilitation centres. Also, NGOs operating de-addiction centres in the country, have failed to provide the required kind of treatment and therapy.
- Smuggling of Drugs: Smuggling of drugs through the states like Punjab, Assam and Uttar Pradesh which share the border with neighbouring countries.
- Global Initiatives: The United Nations with the aid of its anti-drug abuse arm, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) spreads awareness, urges governments to avoid stimulating the Narco economy and deal with the Illicit trafficking of drugs in the disguise of legal pharmaceutical businesses.
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
- History: Also known as ‘World Drug Day’, it is celebrated annually on 26th June since 1987.
- The day is also meant to commemorate Lin Zexu’s efforts towards the strategic dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong in China right before the First Opium War on the Chinese Mainland.
- Theme 2020: Better Knowledge for Better Care.
It emphasises the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and how better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security.
The action plan aims at addiction-free India by countering the growing menace especially across colleges and universities. However, there is a need to design a more targeted campaign against drugs and substance abuse.
Addiction should not be seen as a character flaw, but as an ailment that any other person could be struggling with. Therefore, the stigma associated with drug taking needs to be reduced through social awareness and voluntary processes like medical help by psychologists, as well as strong support from family.
Influence of medicines
How Medications Help with Addiction Treatment
Even as a drug or alcohol addiction threatens to rewrite a person’s life, substance abuse treatment options exist that can begin to address the harm done and help the person to achieve health and balance. While counseling and aftercare support address many mental and emotional challenges, the drugs used for addiction treatment or substance abuse can assist with breaking the chains of physical dependence, helping to ease an often-difficult withdrawal period, and managing any other medical or mental health issues that may have been left untreated (and in some cases, undiagnosed) along the way. Certain treatment medications may have some risks of their own, but they can be very useful in stabilizing those in early recovery and helping them to manage the symptoms of withdrawal during detox.
The withdrawal symptoms of addictive drugs can lead recovering addicts to relapse and start using again. This is why medications are often prescribed as part of an inpatient or outpatient rehab programme. Doctors can adjust dosages during the course of treatment which means that struggling addicts have a better chance of achieving sobriety.
How Do Medications for Addiction Treatment Work?
The addictive nature of some substances derives from the way they manipulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. Though their mechanisms of action vary, some pharmacotherapeutics help to restore balance to the very neurochemical processes that are disrupted when one uses drugs or alcohol.
Treatment for addiction comes in the form of prescription drugs to help a person control their cravings, withdrawal symptoms and get through the ordeal with relative ease.
Drug Withdrawal and Detox
During the initial stages of recovery, the body must rid itself of drugs. This is called the detox period. Detox can last several days to several weeks depending on the drug. Coping with withdrawal symptoms is often the most challenging part of detox. During detox, former drug users experience many uncomfortable symptoms. Some of these may include:
- Muscle aches
Different medications are used to treat different withdrawal symptoms. Some of the drugs that physicians prescribe in detox include:
Benzodiazepines are a form of prescription drugs which are often used to treat anxiety or muscle tension. If you have been prescribed benzodiazepines, it’s important to know that they can cause dependence and have a withdrawal effect if you stop them. Doctors aren’t used to prescribing benzos because they are addictive, so talk to your doctor about your options before taking them.
These drugs have a sedative effect. They are prescribed by doctors to produce calming effects in those who might be experiencing extreme irritability or anxiety that is brought on by withdrawal symptoms related to heroin use or other dependence on different types of drugs. However, a doctor having a patient go through withdrawal symptoms without supervision might lead said patient to become addicted because they feel no pain or discomfort so they won't know when it's time for them to stop taking the drug.
Without drugs, an addicted person cannot produce natural amounts of happiness-inducing chemicals in their brain. As a result, they often feel severely depressed and emotionally unstable. While this can be very hard to deal with it just takes elapsing time whilst on support until the brain is able to naturally produce happiness producing chemicals once more.
Used to treat alcohol and opiate withdrawals, Clonidine reduces sweating, cramps, muscle aches and anxiety. Clonidine can also stop tremors and seizures.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies based on past drug use. Those who were taking drugs in high doses for an extended time have the worst symptoms.
Detoxing from alcohol or benzodiazepines like Valium or Xanax can be deadly, so people with these addictions should never quit “cold turkey.” Withdrawals from other drugs aren’t always life-threatening, but complications can still arise. Medical help ensures safety and success in detox.
Alcohol Addiction Medications
Abusing alcohol continuously for a long period of time can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can last for weeks to months. This prolonged withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is severe in some cases because it may mimic certain mental disorders and manifest in substance-seeking patterns or compulsive behaviors. Maintenance therapy may help reduce the severity of PAWS and curb cravings as well as make the user unable to stomach alcohol. Prescription medications usually come in tablet form for patients to take daily.
Medications for alcohol addiction include:
Naltrexone blocks receptors in the brain that produce alcohol’s pleasurable effects. It also subdues the urge to drink. Naltrexone may cause some nausea or headaches.
This medication relieves emotional and physical distress caused by alcohol addiction. Recovering alcoholics can start taking acamprosate after completing detox. Acamprosate reduces the urge to drink.
Disulfiram was the first medication approved for alcoholism. If a person taking disulfiram drinks, the medication causes side effects such as nausea and vomiting. The idea is that those taking disulfiram won’t drink if it makes them sick.
Heroin and Opiate Addiction Medications
Opiates include heroin, morphine and narcotic painkillers. Medications for opiate and heroin treatment ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications are usually provided in tablet form on a daily basis. Some people experience heroin and opiate withdrawal for as little as a week. Others may have long-term withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms of withdrawal can last for months or years in some cases. Long-term replacement medications can stop cravings and PAWS. Former users can typically take medications for as long as necessary.
Addiction medications for heroin and painkillers include:
Methadone is used to treat moderate or severe drug addictions because it is an opiate that helps suppress cravings and withdrawal symptoms without getting the user high. However, some people are still counted among the users of methadone clinics due to how addictive they have found this drug to be. Methadone is only dispensed at a clinic on a daily basis to prevent abuse, so those who can’t get their hands on actual heroin often resort back to methadone as their side effect-free alternative.
Buprenorphine works in the same manner as methadone but is less closely regulated because the addiction potential is lower. Buprenorphine users can often take the drug home with them instead of going to a clinic every day to get it.
Naltrexone works the same way for opiate addiction as it does for alcohol addiction. It stops the urge to use. It works for both addictions because alcohol and opiates activate some of the same receptors in the brain.
Medical Detox and Rehab
Some people choose to detox on their own. This is not only harder, but also more dangerous than detoxing with a doctor. Medical detox is the best way to get sober in a safe, comfortable environment. For those addicted to alcohol or benzos, medical detox is a must.
A supervised detox is the first step to treating any type of addiction.
A supervised detox can help alleviate health issues. Physicians will monitor your vital signs, like temperature and heart rate, to ensure your detox is proceeding as expected. They also observe any pain or discomfort you may be going through during this process and determine if an adjustment to the appropriate medication is necessary. A physician can work with those who have any other health conditions in addition to their addictions and make a plan to ensure that their symptoms don’t get worse while they recover from their addiction with support from other licensed professionals. Any professional attempting to undergo a drug or alcohol treatment program without supervision put themselves at risk of less effective outcome that could potentially lead to potentially detrimental side-effects or even overdose and death! Let doctors protect you by preventing potential complications!
Naltrexone and Buprenorphine
naltrexone works by blocking the receptors in the brain that opioids would otherwise bind to and activate, rendering those drugs incapable of eliciting their addictive high. Naltrexone is safest when used after the person has finished medically supervised detox, because using it when opioids are still in the body may prompt extremely severe withdrawal symptoms.
The drug Naltrexone is considered to be an ideal treatment for opioid abuse because of its ease of administration, minimal side effects and the fact that it isn’t as prone to abuse as other drugs designed to help with such addiction.
While naltrexone keeps your brain’s opioid receptors completely blocked, buprenorphine only activates them partially. This makes them very different from each other – and you should get one or the other based on your doctor’s recommendations.
Buprenorphine is a medication used to ease withdrawal symptoms for those who want to stop using full opioid agonists. Since it's a partial agonist drug, the maximum possible effect of buprenorphine is less than that of full opioid agonists. Because of this, buprenorphine has the lowest potential for misuse of any substance used to treat opioid dependence. In fact, this fact is what makes buprenorphine such an effective and important tool in helping people safely withdraw from their addiction.
The Drug That Could Combat the Heroin Epidemic