PESHAWAR: A project recently launched to rehabilitate drug addicts is helping to clear the streets of the provincial capital from the drug users.
The project, Drug Free Peshawar, was launched this week to help coordinate efforts being made by the relevant departments.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had taken notice of the growing number of drug addicts in the provincial capital and given the task to Commissioner Peshawar Division Riaz Khan Mahsud.
Before initiating the operation, Riaz Mahsud held meetings with all other relevant departments and decided to work together. The commissioner told the officials of other departments that they should work to rehabilitate the drug addicts instead of arresting them.
The operation began from Peshawar where the district administration identified sites and numbers of the addicts.
In the past four days, more than 800 drug addicts, including 11 women, were picked up from different places in the city and taken to rehabilitation centres.
Riaz Mahsud visited the sites along with the deputy commissioner and other officials and decided that it would continue till logical end.
There was only one public sector rehabilitation facility in the city when the operation was launched.
The commissioner involved the private sector in the rehabilitation process which had good experience in dealing with drug addiction. He expressed his satisfaction over the quality of treatment being offered to the drug addicts in the top three rehabilitation centres of the city.
The treatment expenses in rehabilitation centres are being paid by the government.
The treatment of each patient costs Rs40,000 per month.
After the operation was launched, the addicts’ contact tracking and tracing mechanisms of their families were also developed to bring them into the mainstream.
“I want to make the Peshawar Division including Mohmand, Nowshera, Charsadda free of drug addicts. It is really a difficult task but our efforts will continue till we rehabilitate all addicts and make them useful citizens of the society,” Riaz Mahsud told his team during his visit to the control room.
He said he would visit the operation sites and rehabilitation centres to ensure quality of services to them.
“This is the most neglected sector and nobody cares about these living dead bodies roaming all around in Peshawar,” the commissioner said.
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