The Punjab government has decided to establish model rehabilitation centres in major cities for drug addicts and issued instructions to all the divisional commissioners in this regard.

Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman issued the instruction in this regard in a meeting on Saturday.

He directed that a management model be developed to run these centres and all the relevant departments including Social Welfare, Education and Health should work together for this purpose. The meeting also reviewed measures to prevent drug use in educational institutions.

The Chief Secretary ordered the officers to continue the work of health profiling of students in educational institutions and devise an action plan with the help of the obtained data.

He said there was a need to increase awareness about the harms of drugs, adding that Imams of mosques and elders of the area could play an important role on this count.

He also issued instructions to the Excise Department to enhance coordination with the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for crackdown on drug mafia. Additional Chief Secretary (Home), administrative secretaries of relevant departments including education, health, excise, social welfare, the Director ANF and officials concerned attended the meeting. All the Divisional Commissioners participated via video link.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2023.

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