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Jalandhar

Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 2:10 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 2:10 AM (IST)

District de-addiction centres find few takers

Ajay Joshi
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 11

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s initiative to provide free treatment to poor drug addicts at all state-run de-addiction centres seems to be going through a slow pace at the district de-addiction centre.

When the initiative was launched to curb the menace and assist all the drug addicts, it was expected that this new approach of free treatment would drag the addicts towards de-addiction centers, although it did in the initial stage, now it has lost stream.

The kind of awareness created in the beginning for the free treatment has also declined gradually. It’s barely popular among people at ground level.

In the month of July, when the proposal was implemented, 1,700 patients had come to seek free treatment. However, the count has now reduced to 534 only. Even the cops had taken the responsibility to bring the addicts to de-addiction centre and the transportation cost was also accustomed to addict’s family members, however, it went cold now.

Throughout July, August and September, around 1,700, 950 and 534 patients had approached the district de-addiction centre, respectively and the admitted patients had also reduced till September. Presently, only 20 patients are admitted in the wards of de-addiction centre.

Aman Sood, the senior doctor at the centre said owing to the opening of OOAT (Out patients, Opioid Assisted Treatment) centres, the patient rush had diverted there. All the important medicines were also available at the OOAT centres, so patients prefer to go there. Moreover, narrating an instance when a patient offered him money for the treatment, he confirmed that more than 50 per cent drug addicts feel that de-addiction centres provide only chargeable treatment.

This indicates that immediate awareness is still needed to be generated at the ground level.

Steep decline in number of patients

Throughout July, August and September, around 1,700, 950 and 534 patients had approached the district de-addiction centre, respectively and the admitted patients had also reduced till September. Presently, only 20 patients are admitted to the wards of de-addiction centre. More than 50 per cent drug addicts feel that de-addiction centres provide only chargeable treatment.

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