Drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia and panic disorders are being sold rampantly without doctors’ prescription in medical stores of the city.
What is more worrying is that these drugs, along with more easily available options like whitener ink and painkiller drugs and lotions, are being used by local addicts as substitutes for more expensive narcotics.
An addict on condition of anonymity told HT that he easily got the anti-depressant drugs from the medical shops without showing any prescription. He also made available several used foils of well-known insomnia treating drug to HT to support his claim. “I had started using the drugs to have good sleep after a day’s hard work, but now I consume several of them everyday,” he said, adding that several persons he knew also use the medicines as addictives regularly.
Narendra Sakalle of NGO Pahal that works among the youth said that use of whitener ink and painkillers as addictives is quite common among youth and was a cause of grave concern as they were very easily available in the market.
Medical practitioners are quite emphatic about the fact that use of anti- depressants, anti-anxiety or insomnia treating drugs without proper medical consultation or in overdose could cause danger to life of people. “It is not only about these particularly drugs, but no medicine should be available over the counter of medical stores without any prescription. This practice should be immediately stopped,” member of Indian Medical Association Dr Kailash Sinhal (MD, medicine) told HT.
The president of the District Chemists’ Association Pradeep Bansal said that there are 120 medicine shops in Harda district of which 70 are in Harda town. The association regularly counsels the owners of the shops not to sell medicines without proper prescription. “Yet if the practice comes to notice, remedial steps would be taken,” he said.
District collector Sudam Khande, who is MD (medicine) himself, said that if complaint about any such sale were received, immediately action would be taken.
“We would direct the drug inspectors to keep a check on medicine sale without prescription,” he said adding that the use of whiteners or painkillers for addiction was a very worrying trend and awareness drive would be held to arrest the trend.