Meeting cancer patients eyeopener for ex-drug addicts

Picture for representation only.

Over 200 reformed drug addicts and peddlers were made to confront the consequences of substance abuse at the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, where they met patients on Saturday.

As part of the city police’s campaign against drugs, east division police officers had escorted them to the hospital. The group is made up of mostly of men, arrested for using or peddling drugs and were out on bail.

Additional Commissioner of Police (east zone) S Murugan said the police have turned into counsellors to the men in an effort to bring them into the mainstream of society.

The group interacted with patients having chronic illnesses due to substance abuse. A senior police officer said it was an eye opener for some addicts.

DCP (East) Rahul Shahapurwad said the awareness campaign was launched in July. Saturday’s event was a follow-up step to instill fear of law and the ill effects of drug abuse among addicts and peddlers.

Since the campaign’s launch in July, 220 drug cases were booked in the east division alone. Besides peddlers, addicts were also charged under Section 27(b) of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the DCP said.

‘Must meet regularly’

Jurisdictional police inspectors — assigned as counsellors — were asked to hold regular sessions with the accused and their families to wean them away from the drugs.

“These initiatives have gradually brought down the drug menace,” observed another senior police official.

As a result of the counselling, addicts became police informants and drug peddling has come down due to the falling demand.

The official said without the demand, the supply can be contained effectively.

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