Faryal Talpur, Chairperson of Sindh Assembly's Standing Committee on Home, at the rehabilitation facility for drug addicts. Image Credit: Sindh Government

Karachi: Over 9,000 drug addicts have so far successfully completed a free-of-charge rehabilitation programme offered in Karachi.

The detoxification facility programme is being run jointly by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and the Sindh government’s Health Department. It aims at enabling them to lead healthy lives and become productive and law-abiding members of society.

Named after former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, the programme started in 2010 near underprivileged Lyari and Maripur areas of the city where drug use has been alarmingly high.

The ANF in Sindh has so far registered 201 criminal cases, arrested 194 people for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking and recovered over 11,500 kilogrammes of narcotics that are mostly consumed in low-income localities.

Chairperson of the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Home Department, Faryal Talpur, along with other provincial authorities recently visited the facility that can treat up to 105 drug addicts.

She was briefed on the two other model rehabilitation centres in Hyderabad and Sukkur. Such facilities are being planned in Larkana, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah as joint ventures between the Sindh government and the ANF.

Project Director of the rehabilitation facility, Lt Colonel (retired) Pervaiz Hussain, said the detoxification centre had emerged as the only facility in Asia where the affected children, women, and adults, were treated under one roof.

He said technical skills were taught to the participants of the programme to enable them to earn their livelihood after graduating from the facility. For this purpose, a partnership had been launched with the Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority.

He thanked the provincial government for its continuous support to run the facility enabling its administration not to charge a single rupee from a drug addict at any stage of the treatment and rehabilitation procedure from admission to graduation.

Chief Secretary, Dr Sohail Rajput, who chaired a meeting recently asked the officials to speed up the construction of two more rehabilitation facilities for drug addicts in Karachi, in Manghopir and Malir areas, and hand them over to the ANF to make these centres operational at the earliest.