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How Corporates can Fight Drug Menace in India with CSR

Drug Addiction

The non-medical use of prescription drugs is becoming a major threat to public health. Drug addiction has crippled youth across the globe. The problem is highly prevalent among the youth of Punjab in India. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi conducted the first comprehensive study in 2015 to estimate the magnitude of drug addiction in Punjab – and the report concluded that there were more than 200,000 addicts in the state.

Despite this growing substance-abuse epidemic, private philanthropy has been barely visible when it comes to addressing the crisis and supporting new approaches to addiction treatment based on scientific research. It is imperative that the private sector become a major contributor to solutions aimed at addressing the substance abuse epidemic.

There are varied reasons for the corporates to do that, but key among them is that healthcare policy too often discriminates against those with addiction issues, while insurance companies have been reluctant to provide coverage for people who are addicted. Moreover, many central and state agencies are focused on an “arrest and incarcerate” approach and often ignore the root causes of addiction to try to rehabilitate the addict.

While there are numerous areas where both individual and institutional philanthropic support can make a difference in addressing the substance abuse epidemic, one of the areas that need focus is more research. There is very limited funding for addiction research — especially when compared to other chronic illnesses.

Institutional and individual philanthropists are needed to drive a proactive and comprehensive effort that will transform our approach to substance abuse, including helping our healthcare systems better prevent and treat addiction. Private philanthropy has an amazing opportunity to impact the trajectory of the substance abuse epidemic. It is an opportunity for philanthropy to make a real difference and, play a major role in improving the health and well-being of the people of the country as well as the world.

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The CSR Journal Team