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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Launching Telephone Counselling Help Line 071 0 301 301

The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) as the principle government
institution of prevention and control of drug abuse in Sri Lanka has taken specific measures
towards the drug free healthy life of the citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

Considering the prevailing situation in the country with Covid 19 global pandemic, NDDCB
has launched telephone counselling service for drug dependant persons and their family
members. There were urgent requirement and need on treatment and counselling services for
persons with substance abuse disorders and for their family members regarding the
management of withdrawal symptoms and relief for other physical and mental discomforts.

Persons who use drugs have become a most high risk group with the pandemic situation and
many incidents were reported that drug users are facing physical and mental discomforts and
tend to attend violence activities due to unavailability of drugs.

NDDCB with the support of Mobitel PLC launched a counselling help line under the hot line
number 071 0301301 functioning 24 hours and covering all districts. 54 qualified counsellors
were appointed from treatment division, prevention and education division and outreach unit
for this help line and guidelines for management of withdrawal symptoms have been
published parallel with the help line service. Research division of the Board initiated this
national task with the support of other technical divisions addressing the current requirements
and trends.

More than 2500 calls were received during the first week and team of counsellors have been
involved providing over the phone counselling and referral to medical professionals
considering the situation.


















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