Damauli, January 18 Nepal Police Inspector General Sarbendra Khanal said counselling was the best way to wean away drug addicts from addiction. Inaugurating the Legal and Phycho-social Free Counselling Centre set up to control and prevent drug addiction in Tanahun’s district headquarters, Damauli today, IGP Khanal said, “Counselling is the most effective way of weaning away drug aaddiction, hence the counselling centre has been established.” The centre was established in coordination with Nepal Police and Byas Municipality. The police chief cited data which showed that youths between 16 to 40 age group were vulnerable to drug addiction and called on parents to be alert to prevent their sons and daughters from falling prey to drug addiction. “We’ve heard that there are a few rehabilitation centres set up in the name of helping addicts to give up their addition, but are involved in illegal activities. They won’t be allowed to continue illegal activities as we’re committed to regulating them,” he said. “We’ve even heard about ambulances and trucks smuggling drugs at times. Such vehicles will be identified and subjected to strong action,” he added. Speaking on the occasion, Byas Municipality Mayor Baikuntha Neupane hoped the recently established counselling centre would help control drug abuse in the district. “Tanahun seems to be turning into a transit point for transaction of illegal drugs, but this counselling centre and others to open in the future will help control the illegal business,” he said. Narcotic Control Bureau Chief SSP Basanta Bahadur Lama said over 70 per cent of criminal activities were linked to drug abuse and smuggling. Tanahun Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairperson Mankaji Shrestha, SP Binod Silwal, Inspector Buddhi Prasad Subedi, among others, also spoke on the positive role that the counselling centre would play to reduce drug abuse rate in the district. Counselling centres have also been opened up in Chitwan, Parsa and Kaski districts.