Narcotics Control launches project ‘Umang’ for Illicit Drug Addicts

Nawaz Sharif

The Ministry of Narcotics Control has signed a MoU with Sehat Kahani (E-Health Clinic network). A Helpline will be setup under a pilot project UMANG for individuals who unfortunately fall into the habit of addiction and need help to connect to counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists.

Federal Minister Muhammad Azam Khan Swati witnessed the ceremony. Secretary Narcotics Control Shoaib Dastgir and senior officials of the ministry were also present.

Project “UMANG” is an initiative launched by Ministry of Narcotics Control in collaboration with Sehat Kahani which would allow Pakistani youth to access Mental Health Counseling and referrals free of cost through a Helpline. The Helpline will be free for 3 months. The Helpline is expected to be active in the first week of January 2021.

On the occasion, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati has said that the Ministry of Narcotics Control envisions a healthier and a productive nation, free from the menace of illicit drug usage, trafficking and manufacturing. Project ‘Umang’ is a step towards that vision.

Under this initiative, Sehat Kahani will be providing free of cost, confidential and easily accessible Mental Health Counseling services through a dedicated 24/7 ‘Umang Helpline’ to the youth to help them reduce the indulgence in excessive smoking or drug addiction, and to create awareness around the issues of addictions through a digital awareness campaign. This Helpline service will be end-to-end encrypted, allowing the caller to connect with Sehat Kahani’s Mental Health experts in less than a minute whilst ensuring total anonymity and confidentiality.

The Federal Minister further said that he is geared towards extirpating his menace from the society and save the youth from this evil.

The CEO of Sehat Kahani, Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram has said that drug users avoid seeking help due to the fear of stigmatization. The Helpline and mobile application will ensure anonymity and ease of accessibility, and help in tackling this problem.

Along with the helpline, project Umang will create a 360-degree awareness campaign using digital and non-digital mediums to help students recognize the value of their lives, their future, the worth of their contribution to the future of Pakistan and how drugs can take away that dream. The slogan would be: Choose Pakistan-Say No to Drugs.