225 govt employees admit drug use

ITANAGAR, 24 Nov: As many as 225 government employees have reported themselves to be under the influence of some sort of natural or synthetic drug.

They admitted it in response to a government order issued in June this year, asking its employees to report their drug addiction to senior officers.

The order issued by the chief secretary stated that the government employees have “one time opportunity to report in writing to their respective controlling officers about their addiction to enable them to take remedial measures/ treatment of such addiction at their own cost immediately. The government will provide such employees one-time immunity from prosecution/ disciplinary proceedings.”

Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, who held a meeting with the principal secretary and secretaries of Health & Family Welfare (HFW), Tax, Excise & Narcotics and the ADGP to discuss the issue of drug abuse and de-addiction strategies, directed the HFW department to come out with a robust action plan to rehabilitate drug-addicted government officials in a time-bound manner.

Kumar said that the addicts may be categorised into three categories based on their level of addiction. Necessary counselling, treatments, rehabilitation, and follow-up should be as per their level of addiction.

“Partner NGOs for every district may be included in follow-up programmes of the addicts after their rehabilitation programme as continuing support to avoid relapse,” he said.

“Further, to check the level of drug addiction in government officials, in the first phase, the officials of the departments of police, education and HFW be randomly selected and tested in coordination with the deputy commissioner, SP and DMO. Such checking shall be completed by December, 2021,” Kumar said.

The chief secretary also directed the anti-narcotics cell to crackdown on narcotic drugs suppliers and peddlers.