Opium addicts get option to skip de-addiction camps

  • Mukesh Mathrani, Hindustan Times, Barmer
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2015 12:03 IST

Though the state government aims to de-addict Doda (opium) users in the state, the de-addiction process that it has adopted remains flawed, due to which several persons in the state continue to consume Doda on an everyday basis.

The health department has been organising de-addiction camps under the Naya Savera drive to provide support and rehabilitation to the addicts for a while now.

However, only three per cent of the total Doda users in the state have benefitted from these camps.

The addicts need to fill out any one out of three types of forms to sign up for the de-addiction camps.

The first two forms (called ‘Sahmati-Patra’) are for permit holders and non-permit holders and the last form is ‘Asahmati Patra’, in which a Doda addict can express his/her unwillingness or inability to participate in the camps.

District excise officer Mohanlal Puniya said though the government was trying to ensure that a large number of addicts participated in the deaddiction camp, several others did not want to get de-addicted and opted to fill out the third form.

He further said some of the addicts had alleged that the government had not contacted them for de-addiction.

“To avoid such allegations, we are obtaining the written consent of those who do not want to get de-addicted,” he said.

He said about 600 addicts (400 unregistered abusers and 200 permit holders) in the state did not want to get deaddicted.

Following the Centre’s decision to stop issuing permits to extract launched poppy husk (LPH) from April 1, 2015, the state government too had decided to impose a strict ban on the distribution and consumption of Doda, which will be effective from March 31, 2015.

The government wanted to de-addict as many addicts as possible before the act came into force.

However, the government’s Naya Savera drive will benefit only 6,494 drug abusers in 17 districts out of more than 2 lakh abusers in the state due to poor planning and development.

According to official data, there are a total of 21,132 registered or permit holding doda abusers in the state.

Besides, there are 16,971 addicts who have not renewed their permits. Moreover, there are 1,94,400 unregistered addicts who consume doda in the state.

Barmer is ranked first in the state with 2,817 registered addicts, 7,200 addicts who have not renewed their permits and 50,000 unregistered addicts.

Chief medical and health officer Dr Sunil Kumar Singh Bisht said the number of sanctioned camps were insufficient to treat all the addicts in the state.

He said he had discussed the issue with higher authorities, who had promised to organise many such camps in future.

He, however, admitted that despite organising many camps, the government would find it impossible to de-addict all the Doda users before the ban came into force.

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