LAHORE - The Punjab Excise and Taxation (E&T) department with the help of NGOs is going to launch a campaign for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, said an officer of E&T on Monday.

He said that a meeting was held in this regard with different NGOs in E&T office. The agenda of the meeting was to devise a strategy for rehabilitation of drug addicts lying in the parks and roads.

Participants of the meeting were told that a campaign should be launched for treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts in the city like the campaign against beggary.

The E&T officials proposed that the drug addicts lying on roads and parks may be shifted to Drug Treatment Centers for their rehabilitation and Health Department should establish Model Drug Abuse Centres in different areas of the city.

All the participants were requested to submit their suggestions for implementation of the decision taken in the meeting.

Shahzad Munir, president of a foundation, stated that she was already working for the rehabilitation of drug addicts and such patients were being admitted in the Mental Hospital for their treatment and rehabilitation.

Shahzad Ajum Baig, President Safe Child, stated that beds should be allocated to such patients in all government hospitals. He stated that we should collect information about all the Drug Treatment Centres in government hospitals.

Akmal Ovaisi Prizada, president of an NGO, said that he is already working with Provincial 'Narcotics Control Committee and have done a lot of work in this regard. He proposed that in every Government hospitals at least 10 beds should be allocated to such drug addicts lying in the roads/parks.

Excise and Taxation Officer Latif Anjum said that due to paucity of sources, Lahore Excise Branch was striving hard for eradication of drugs and narcotics from the society. For this purpose many important steps have been taken by the Excise Branch, he added. For awareness among public, an exhibition against drug abuse is also being arranged in National College of Arts.

After thorough deliberations it was decided that during the current month at least 50 such patients lying on roads and parks will be got admitted in the Mental Hospital for their treatment and rehabilitation. All the participants vowed to work for this noble cause and unanimously agreed that only coordinated efforts can yield desired results.

The Executive District Officer (Health), Cooper Road, was requested that Drug Treatment Centers and Rehabilitation Centers should be made functional in all government hospitals and more facilities be made available to all such addicts.

A list of all such government hospitals was also requested to provide E&T along with number of beds allocated for treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts.