Mumbai police to counsel cops addicted to alcohol & cigarettes, help them ditch the habit

Mumbai police to counsel cops addicted to alcohol & cigarettes, help them ditch the habit
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Mumbai police launched a new initiative last week aimed at helping cops, who are addicted to alcohol and cigarettes, quit the habits threatening their health.

In a circular issued to all police stations last week, the department has sought a list of police personnel who are addicted to alcohol or cigarettes.

The circular asks senior officers and fellow officers to volunteer information about any personnel in their team, who might be a victim of alcohol and cigarette addiction.

The details can be submitted to the main office within a month’s time, following which counselling sessions will be held for the concerned personnel.

Speaking to The Asian Age, Mumbai police commissioner, Dattatray Padsalgikar confirmed the circular and said, “This is an exercise to help personnel in the department who may have addiction issues.”

Padsalgikar said that that the department was concerned about the health of its men and the move is aimed at helping them lead a healthy lifestyle.

“Once we have the names, we will begin counselling and also employ other methods to help them get over the addiction. We want to improve their health because there have been cases in the past where medical assistance has been required,” he said.

When asked about the organizations that will be assisting the police drive, Padsalgikar said, “We are in the process of contacting NGOs and a number of them have come forward for the same. The same will begin soon.”

Sources close to the daily also stated that some might be sent to rehabilitation centres, if necessary.

The circular issued on September 20 is part of an internal memo. “Our men work under a lot of stress and sometimes they resort to alcohol and cigarettes. This can turn into an addiction if not controlled and lead to deterioration of the officer’s health,” said a police source.

“We don’t just want our senior officers to give us names, but also the friends of any police personnel to volunteer the names of those who may be addicted to harmful substances. We want to help them get over their addictions and not lose their lives to them,” the source added.

Prior to Mumbai, the Pune police commissionerate had started the first of its kind initiative in June to help police officials overcome their addiction problems.

A recent study carried out by the doctors in Maharashtra, titled “Health profile of Mumbai Police personnel” published a report which claimed that nearly 55 per cent of police personnel are addicted to either nicotine (cigarettes) or alcohol.

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