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Posted at: May 17, 2018, 2:24 AM; last updated: May 17, 2018, 2:24 AM (IST)

De-addiction drive in state all set to get a boost

De-addiction drive in state all set to get a boost
Youths at a de-addiction centre in a hospital in Jalandhar. Tribune Photo:Malkiat Singh

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 16

Two months after the DAPO drive was first launched in the state, as many as 25,000 Drug Abuse Prevention Officers (DAPOs) have been enrolled and trained in the district to carry out the task of apprising and counselling the drug addicts against addiction in the district.

While a formal programme to dedicate DAPOs across the state is being held at Tarn Taran on Thursday, after this the formal process and ground level visits of DAPOs to their respective areas shall be started – marking the formal initiation of the scheme started by the state government counter addiction in the district.

Interestingly, with the government also starting the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres in the state from Thursday onwards – the DAPO drive as well as the OOAT centres are the government’s current plan to counter addiction in the state.

While OST (Opioid Substitution Therapy) centres are already functional across the state, at the OOAT centres – Buprenorphine an opioid substitute, along with another drug called Naloxone, shall be provided to Opioid

DC Varinder Sharma said, “The district collectively has as many as 25,000 DAPOs. Roughly 12,500 each from rural and urban areas. While for the task, Master trainers were trained at the state level last month, after that just last week these master trainers completed the training the GLT (Ground Level Trainers) who are further training the DAPOs. With the GLTs training the DAPOs, the campaign shall see fruitful results within some days.”

While last year 22,953 patients were reported at the de-addiction centre in the district, (6,833 being solely de-addiction patients), health sources in the district said there had already been a rise in the footfall of de-addiction patients in the district in the past two months.

Dr Aman Sood, resident doctor at the de-addiction centre Jalandhar, said, “The results of the DAPO drive on the de-addiction programme shall only be evident after they actually start going out in the field. However, there has certainly been a rise in the foot fall of the addicts possibly triggered by a rise in the prices of drugs. If we were getting 50 -60 patients per month until march, now the number has gone up to 80 to 90 patients.”

Dr Sandeep Bhola, psychiatrist civil hospital Kapurthala said, “We have trained 8,000 DAPOs in Kapurthala alone. Once the drive starts we are expecting a positive effect on the de-addiction centres as well. Since this is a community out reach programme, we are expecting reportage of addicts to increase once it starts. Collectively, we believe, the DAPO and OOAT programmes are a massive joint step to reach out addiction on the state.”

Across the state – OOAt centres shall be started across 22 centres on Thursday to counter opioid addiction in the state.


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