Union Health Minister Releases Standard Treatment Guidelines for Substance Use Disorders

Published: July 30, 2020

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has released the e-book titled ‘Standard Treatment Guidelines for the Management of Substance Use Disorders and Behavioural Addictions’ which is aimed at tackling substance abuse and behavioural addiction in the country.

The treatment guidelines have been developed by an Expert Group identified by the Tobacco Control and Drug Dependence and Treatment Program. This group consists of psychiatrists working in the area of substance use prevention and treatment in various national level institutions such as NIMHANS, Bengaluru, AIIMS, New Delhi, PGIMER, Chandigarh, etc.

Why is it significant?

Substance Use Disorder has grown as a public health problem these days especially among youth and adolescents and such problems are expected to increase only with the adoption of a modern lifestyle. Along with that, the behavioural change manifests itself in an increased rate of suicides which have been observed during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Also, the SUD can be associated with various non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, road traffic injury as well as mental health issues. The behavioural addictions like gambling, shopping, cyber-relational and cyber-sexual addictions including over-involvement in an online relationship and pornography and addiction to online games are also causes of concern these days.

The government is already running the Drug De-addiction Program under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other stakeholders are also participating in making this a success.

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