The enforcement wing of the Excise Department has stepped up vigil against bootlegging and substance abuse in the wake of the closure of bars and sales outlets till April 14. As part of this, night patrolling and searches have been stepped up.
De-addiction and counselling centres under the State Excise Department will offer free treatment and counselling services to persons suffering from physical or mental stress due to non-availability of alcoholic drinks, following the closure of bars and retail liquor outlets in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.
The Excise Department and de-addiction mission Vimukthi under it will extend these services on call to the nearest Excise Range Office or police station. The service will also be available by calling the Excise Departments toll-free number 14405.
The Excise Department has set up a de-addiction Centre at one taluk hospital in each district to provide free treatment and counselling services. Apart from these, de-addiction and counselling facilities are also functioning in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode districts. These facilities will provide round-the-clock free service.
Besides the typical withdrawal symptoms such as shivering, nausea, insomnia and lack of appetite, such situations are also found to result in domestic discord, necessitating consultation and counselling.
The new measures have been taken up by the Excise Department and Vimukthi Mission as an extension of a massive Sstate-wide campaign against addiction by leveraging traditional and social media, besides organising mass mobilisation programmes.