Ernakulam Medical College to get de-addiction centre at cost of Rs 40 lakh

Ernakulam: The Kerala government have decided to set up a new de-addiction centre at the Ernakulam Government Medical College (GMC) in the Kalamassery region at a cost of Rs 40 lakh.

The centre is being established by the Vimukthi cell under the Kerala government’s excise department, marking the third such centre in the district.

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The new centre is being established amidst a growing number of counselling and de-addiction cases coming up in the district. The new centre at Kalamassery would also bring it closer to the people as the centre at Muvattupuzha is around 40km from the city centre.

Out of the 40 lakhs, the government would provide Rs 36 lakh, and the remaining 4 lakhs would be provided through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. The Public Works Department (PWD) has completed the tender process and would begin the work soon.

Speaking to the Times of India, an excise officer said, “The centre will have 10 beds for inpatient treatment. There will be a medical officer, clinical psychologist and psychiatric social worker besides two nurses, security guards and cleaning staff. A portion of the hospital building will be transformed into the de-addiction centre.”

The centre was initially slated to come up at the Co-Operative Medical College but got delayed due to multiple reasons including the COVID-19 pandemic. An official said, “Vimukthi’s service is getting more popular. Considering the increasing drug menace in our society, especially in Kochi, there is a need for another de-addiction centre.”

The other two de-addiction centres of the district are coming up at the Muvattupuzha General Hospital and another one exclusively for women and children, is being set up in Tripunithura taluk hospital.

Vimukthi is an anti-narcotics campaign launched by the Government of Kerala to deal with alcohol/drug/substance abuse and to create awareness among the people. It is launched with the aim to eradicate all sorts of narcotic substances from Kerala. The de-addiction centres are being established by them by working along with hospitals of health departments and counselling centres in order to render the services of psychologists and sociologists to the general public for counselling in drug abuse and alcohol consumption.

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