In an attempt to efficiently rehabilitate drug addicts and crack down on high-profile peddlers, the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai crime branch has joined hands with city-based NGOs and doctors. As part of this initiative, the ANC has started holding meetings and seminars with them to understand the current scenario of drug addiction to come up with solutions.
Kishore Jadhav, DCP of ANC, said: "This is a first-of-its-kind drive started by us to crack down on bigger peddlers and also to understand addiction behaviour."
The ANC had had a meeting on Thursday last with a few NGOs and psychiatrists and gathered information on youth drug addiction, presence of peddlers outside schools and colleges, and also on new types of drugs that are doing the rounds.
"This will be an ongoing initiative with which we hope to bust a network of bigger peddlers who sell high-profile drugs to rich and the upper middle class addicts," said Jadhav.
"We are only aware of the small-time peddlers and consumers. Through this initiative, we want to get an idea of the reach of drugs and consumption habits. Addicts usually go to NGOs and doctors and not the cops. Therefore, NGOs and doctors have a better idea about the trends, demand among the youth and vulnerable locations in the city," said DD Kale, ACP of ANC. He also added that the ANC would be joining hands with the NGOs to conduct de-addiction and rehabilitation programmes as well as anti-drug workshops and awareness drives in schools, colleges, etc.
One of the senior psychiatrists, Yusuf Matcheswalla, who was part of the meeting with the ANC, said: "This was a long-pending initiative. It is high time the ANC and the doctors worked in collaboration so that the drug menace is eradicated."
Although information about addicts who approach them will be kept confidential, the doctors and NGOs will help cops track down the peddlers and rehabilitate those who are in custody.