Punjab looks to bring holistic act on drug abuse

Express News Service
CHANDIGARH:  The Punjab government plans to bring in an Act which will give legal framework for enforcement, treatment and prevention programmes for drug abuse. 

The Comprehensive Action Against Drug Abuse Act (CADA) also covers treatment and prevention aspects for alcohol and tobacco abuse disorders.

The principal innovation is to give statutory basis to prevention and treatment programs. Prevention programmes will now have a legal foundation for their work and supervision.

Drug treatment programmes were earlier run through general nature rules made under NDPS Act but this Act provides specific aims structure and a monitoring system.

The Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT), Drug Abuse Prevention Officers (DAPO) and BUDDY programmes have already been touted as major achievements by the state government in a publicity campaign being run across the state.

Sources clarified that there is no conflict with the NDPS Act, which prescribes punishments for various offences, and that CADA only supplements the provisions of the NDPS to increase its effectiveness and improve the gains to the system. 

It makes officials and departments more closely accountable for implementation of the comprehensive action against drug abuse to the law and to the cabinet through a ministerial committee, they added.

As per the copy of the proposed Act, 17 departments will be brought under one ambit for implementing the strategy of CADA with the  home department will be the nodal department to implement this Act.