Employers in the country should take up effective alcohol and drug prevention programmes at their workplaces, President Pranab Mukherjee stated on Thursday. The measure will also help the employers to increase their productivity, Mukherjee added.
The President was addressing a function in New Delhi, after presenting awards to those who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Drugs Abuse. 26 June is observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, and the ceremony was organised to commemorate the occasion.
"There is an urgent need to provide a whole range of community-based services for the identification, counselling and de-addiction of (drug) addicts along with their after care and rehabilitation. Alcoholism and drug abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem requiring a holistic approach," the President stressed.
Mukherjee stated that the society suffers due to some people's addiction to drugs and alcohol. Illicit drug use is a serious concern since it poses significant health challenges. The younger generation is especially vulnerable to the menace, he added.
The President explained that drug and alcohol addicts' families face stigma, isolation and constriction of resources. It is necessary to encourage individuals and families to seek early assistance for problems related to alcoholism and drug abuse, he advised.
There is an urgent need to provide a whole range of community-based services for the identification, counselling and de-addiction of addicts, along with their after care and rehabilitation. Alcoholism and drug abuse is a psycho-social-medical problem, requiring a holistic approach, Mukhejee pointed out.
"While on the one hand, the use of drugs and alcohol is increasing, on the other hand, we find that social taboos, emphasis on self-restraint, discipline inherent in a joint family system and traditional moorings are eroding. Among other factors, the fast changing social milieu arising out of this social and economic transition, which the country is going through, is contributing to the proliferation of drug abuse," the President said.
The introduction of synthetic drugs and intravenous drug use leading to HIV/AIDS has added a new dimension to the issue. Drug abuse is not merely a problem arising out of the availability and supply of intoxicating drinks and drugs but has a great deal to do with the social condition, which create the demand for the consumption of such substances, Mukherjee observed.
The vulnerability of modern society plays a catalytic role in promoting the consumption and abuse of narcotic and psychotropic drugs, he added.
Mukherjee explained how drug and alcohol addiction harms the society.
"The harmful use of alcohol can have serious social and economic consequences for individuals, families and society as a whole. Drug overdose may even cause death. Drug use adversely impacts the entire family and makes it's members, particularly women and children, extremely vulnerable. "