The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment implements a "Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse" which provides financial assistance to eligible Non-Governmental Organizations, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, etc. for, inter-alia, running and maintenance of Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts to provide composite/integrated services for the rehabilitation of addicts including child users.
The Ministry has issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories on 11th August 2016 for taking coordinated action to address the problem of drug abuse which, inter-alia, includes prevention of substance abuse among children in the country such as:-
- Providing appropriate facilities for children including street children.
- Establishing separate and specialized de-addiction treatment centres/facilities for drug dependent children, especially in Government Hospitals/Medical Colleges.
The National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), an autonomous organization under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment conducts sensitization and preventive education programmes in schools and colleges on regular basis. Till now, during the year 2017-18, NISD has conducted 247 awareness generation programmes in various Schools and Universities/Colleges covering 23006 beneficiaries.
Besides, the Ministry has, in the year 2016, conducted an awareness generation programme, in collaboration with Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY), to create awareness in children and youth about the harmful effects of substance abuse in 156 schools in 22 districts of Punjab covering about 52,800 students.
The Government of NCT of Delhi have informed that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has given study report on size estimation of street children who use drugs in Delhi. The number of street children who had used any drug (including tobacco) in last one year is 23,240 and children with use of any other drug excluding tobacco is 15,470. The number of street children in Delhi estimated to be using a substance in last one year is as follows- tobacco – 21,770, alcohol- 9,450, inhalants- 7,910, cannabis- 5,600, heroin- 840, opium- 420, pharmaceutical opioids -210 and sedatives – 210 street children.
National Crime Records Bureau have informed that a total of 53 and 34 unnatural accidental deaths were reported due to drug overdose (including Medicinal/Narcotics & Psychotropic Drugs) by the children (below 18 years) during 2015 and 2016 respectively.
(This is a reproduced press release from the government of India as it is. Devdiscourse bears no responsibility towards grammatical or factual errors that may have been presented in the report.)