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Arunachal: High on drugs, admit 225 govt employees

Itanagar: As many as 225 individuals working in various government departments of Arunachal Pradesh have reported themselves to be under the influence of some or the other kind of natural or synthetic drugs, officials said.

These individuals reported themselves in response to an official notification issued earlier this year which had made it mandatory for all state government employees to report their addiction to the government.

The government had cautioned that any employee found addicted to drugs after the deadline would have to face legal actions.

Accordingly, a meeting to discuss the drug abuse and de-addiction strategy was held at the civil secretariat here on Wednesday during which Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar directed the health and family welfare department to come out with a robust action plan to rehabilitate the government officials with addiction in a time bound manner.

He suggested that these officials may be categorized into three groups based on their level of addiction.

“Necessary counseling, treatments, rehabilitation and follow-ups should be carried out as per their level of addiction,” Kumar said.

The chief secretary also suggested including partner NGOs for every district in the follow-up programmes after their rehabilitation as continuous support and to avoid the chances of relapse.

This task is to be accomplished without any delay and in a time bound manner, he said.

Further, to check the level of drug addiction in government officials, in the first phase, Kumar directed that the officials of the police, education and health and family welfare departments be randomly selected and tested for using drugs.

“This exercise shall be coordinated by the respective deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and the district medical officers and should be completed by December,” he said.

The chief secretary further directed the anti-narcotics cell of the state police to aggressively strike the source of supply of narcotic drugs and catch the key drug peddlers.

Principal Secretary (Home) Rajeev Verma, Health & Family Welfare secretary P Partibhan, Tax Excise & Narcotics secretary Y W Ringu, ADGP Ravindra Yadav and other officers were present in the meeting.

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