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The ministry of social justice and empowerment has forwarded the draft National Drug Demand Reduction Policy to the Union Cabinet after modifying the document as suggested by the group of ministers (GoM). Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed the GoM, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, to examine the draft national policy which seeks to address the problem of drug and substance abuse in the country. The GoM comprises the ministries of health, social justice and empowerment, women and child development, transport, and home affairs. "The ministry had sent the draft national policy for drug demand reduction to the Cabinet in April.
The prime minister then referred it to the GoM to examine the draft policy and make its recommendations. "The GoM approved the draft national policy with minor modifications suggested in the meeting. It has now been sent to the Cabinet," said a senior official from the ministry of social justice and empowerment. The official said that the draft policy was redrafted by the ministry in January following directions from the Prime Minister's Office which found the original draft to be very lengthy. The redrafted policy mainly focuses on the rehabilitation aspect of the victims apart from covering two broad areas -- illicit drugs including cannabis, heroin and opium, and the other on pharmaceutical preparations like tranquillisers and inhalants. The policy emphasises on strengthening coordination among various regulatory agencies concerned to check the diversion of substances from lawful channels to illicit networks, including Internet pharmacies. The objective of the policy is to undertake drug demand reduction efforts to address all forms of drug use, including misuse and dependence, to create awareness about the ill- effects of drugs abuse on the individual, family, workplace and the society at large. It also aims to provide for a whole range of community- based services for the identification, motivation, counselling, de-addiction, aftercare and rehabilitation for Whole Person Recovery (WPR) of addicts and facilitate research, training, documentation and collection of relevant information to strengthen these objectives.