ISLAMABAD: Efforts of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) are bearing fruit as there has been a sharp decline of 74 per cent in the number of drug addicts in Balochistan in four years.
In 2014, 380 drug addicts were treated at the Model Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (MATRC) in Quetta, while in 2017 about a 100 underwent treatment at the centre, reflecting that 280 people quit taking drugs.
The cost incurred on the treatment in 2014 came in at Rs9.5 million, while the estimated cost of treatment of 100 drug addicts clocked in at Rs2.5 million.
Similarly, in 2015-16 the cost of treatment of drug addicts at MATRC, Quetta was Rs5.9 million.
Only the year 2016 saw the least number of addicts –six- admitted to the MATRC.
There are three MATRCs set-up in the country one each in Quetta, Islamabad and Karachi. They are run under the supervision of ANF.
Sources in the interior division said that the Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control was also constructing a 100-bed drug treatment hospital in Peshawar and another in Sukkur.
The sources said the treatment centres provide free treatment, boarding and lodging facilities to drug addicts.
Quetta’s 45-bed MATRC is funded by the government.
This centre was established at Chaman Housing Scheme, Airport Road and has been working since 2005 with capacity to provide free of cost medical treatment and rehabilitation to 360 drug addicts per year.