The master plan for “Substance abuse Prevention & Control for Kerala”, adopted 10 years, has fallen short on implementation, especially on the setting up of a high-power abuse control and prevention authority and the introduction of abuse topics in syllabi of educational institutions.
Some of the recommendations have been adopted, but the most important constitution of “Kerala State Authority for the Prevention of Alcohol & Substance Abuse” remains in limbo, points out Johnson J. Edayaranmula, the director of Alcohol & Drug Information Centre-India.
The authority envisaged the chief minister as chairman, with excise, home, health, education and social welfare ministers as vice-chairpersons to coordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate policies, programmes and activities related to alcohol drugs and other substances in the State.
The biggest drawback in combating alcohol and substance abuse has been the absence of an independent high-level competent authority. Vimukthi Mission under the excise department has not helped the situation either with Kerala witnessing the most alarming use of alcohol and other substances in its history.
The government should dismantle the ineffective Vimukthi Mission and constitute the authority with CM and ministers, as per the ‘Allocation of Business Rules 1961’ of the Centre, which is being practised by all other states and Union territories in the country, said Mr Edayaranmula....