Wed, 23 Oct 2019

Punjabi University launches course on substance abuse prevention

Posted on Monday, July 16, 2018

Newly introduced one-year diploma course in Punjabi University will teach about treatment and prevention of substance abuse, reports Utkarsh Rampal

Punjabi University in Patiala will start PG Diploma titled ‘Counselling for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment’ from the first week of September. This is seen as a measure to control the monstrous problem of substance abuse prevalent among the youth in the state. The admission process will begin from the second week of July.

The course was planned after the University Grants Commission (UGC) accepted the proposal sent by the Punjabi University to begin a course targeting the problem. The course was formulated in April 2018 as a correspondence course, which is also open for working professionals.

The course will include subjects such as the nature of drugs, their treatment and how to prevent the usage of drugs. Besides the basic curriculum, the students will have to implement their knowledge in their day-to-day life by encouraging others to say ‘No to drugs’.

Mamta Sharma, nodal officer and professor of psychology, Punjabi University, refers it as the most relevant course for the youth. “Being a border agricultural state, Punjab is vulnerable to drugs and other narcotics coming in illegally. Youngsters at time may feel isolated which lead them to substance abuse.”

The module of the course gives equal importance to theoretical and practical aspects. “We would be teaching students on every minute details of drug prevention, they will get to intern in hospitals and rehabilitation centres to spread the message. Our prime focus would be on prevention of drugs and not just rehabilitation,” added Sharma.  

Though there is a need to have a pan-India course and anti-drugs courses should be introduced at college level everywhere. “Detachment from the society, access to internet, lack of attention can be a major cause of students indulging in drug abuse. The schools should revise their curriculum and every college should have sessions on this topic along with having it as a subject.”

There are two types of initiatives against drug abuse, running in Punjab- one being the Drug Abuse Prevention Officers (DAPO) and the other is buddy programme. “Buddy programme promotes having a buddy responsible for reporting any cases of his/her classmates talking to strangers or getting involved in drugs. DAPOs are the volunteers who have been identified by the government to come forward and spread the message against drug abuse in every district,” adds Mamta. 

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