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Over 3.65 lakh treated for drugs

Chandigarh, January 4: Over 3.65 lakh patients were treated last year or are undergoing treatment at various medical facilities in Punjab for drugs de–addiction, a senior health official said here on Sunday.

“Field workers mobilized people with substance use disorders to the nearest CHC (community health centres) where they were treated and those requiring admission were admitted,” K.K. Talwar, adviser on health and medical education to Punjab government, told the media here.

“Till December 15, 330,533 patients had been treated at the OPD (out patient department) and 11,656 were treated as indoor patients,” Talwar added. Talwar said that the patients were identified on the basis of a de–addiction camp conducted state–wide in June last year.

“In an effort to address this serious issue (of drug addiction), the Punjab government had conducted a de–addiction campaign from June 19 to 28, where sensitization, treatment and counselling facilities were provided to substance abusers,” Talwar said.

With rampant drugs abuse inside jails in Punjab, the state government also set up de–addiction centres inside the prisons last year.

The official said de–addiction centres have been set up in each of the eight Model Central Jails at Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Ludhia, Patiala, Bathinda, Faridkot and Ferozepur. “Till now, 22,669 patients have been treated, 461 patients are under detoxification and 718 patients are in rehabilitation wards,” Talwar said.

In the past two years, 27 Drug De–addiction Centers (DDCs) have been made operatiol in the state at an expenditure of Rs.38 crore. Seventeen more such centres are being set up in the state at a cost of another Rs.70 crore. The DDCs being set up at Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda will have facility of 50 beds each. Amritsar and Faridkot have 50–bedded DDCs already. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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