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US doctor cures doda addicts through Skype

A non-government organisation (NGO) has taken the help of a doctor settled in the United States to cure people addicted to doda post (opium husk)

jaipur Updated: Jul 01, 2017 19:44 IST
P Srinivasan
Opium husk addicts interacting with Dr Karan Singh Rathore through video conferencing  from the US.
Opium husk addicts interacting with Dr Karan Singh Rathore through video conferencing from the US. (HT Photo.)

A non-government organisation (NGO) has taken the help of a doctor settled in the United States to cure people addicted to doda post (opium husk).

“I was planning to do something for these addicts to help them deal with withdrawal symptoms. I met psychiatrist Dr Dilip Karan Rathore, who hails from Jalore in Rajasthan but is settled in America, during his visit to India,” said Mal Singh Jamara, secretary of Jaisalmer-based NGO Godawan Sanrakshan Sanstha. “Dr Rathore agreed to treat the addicts.”

During Dr Rathore’s visit in March this year, detoxification camps were organised at Jaisalmer, Mohangarh, Ramgarh, Chandhan, Nachana and Narsighon ki Dhani (NKD), and about 300 addicts were identified.

After the Rajasthan government banned doda post sale from April 1 last year, the addicts faced psychological problems because of non-availability of the intoxicant; some youths started consuming capsules and medicines to get intoxicated.

“Through Skype video calling from America, Dr Rathore treats addicts thrice a week -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- from 3pm to 8pm. After knowing about blood sugar, blood pressure and other details, he prescribes medicines to patients,” said Jamara. “We bear the cost of medicines as the addicts are poor.”

He said, “Dr Rathore wanted to serve his country; now he is happy that he is trying to help out addicts.”

According to the health department data, the state has 19,000 registered doda post addicts. The department had organised camps under the Naya Savera campaign from January to March in 2015 to help addicts deal with withdrawal symptoms.

The number of doda post addicts in the state, Jamara said, could be two lakh as many are not registered.

In Jaisalmer district, youths aged between 20 and 30 years are addicted to opium and capsules, and people aged 40 years and above consume doda post, Jamara said. “People consume these things because according to them the drugs energise them and they are able to do heavy work for a long time without feeling tired.”

Sawai Singh (42), a resident of Sipla village in Jaisalmer district, said, “I was consuming opium for last eight years and also started drinking liquor in the last two years. After taking medication, I gave up consuming these things and am feeling better.”

Anop Singh (40) of NKD village said, “I got into the habit of taking capsules. I take 4-5 capsules a day and without them, I feel tired and am not able to sleep.” After taking treatment from Dr Rathore, he brought it down to 2-3 capsules a day. “Anop did not go for follow-up treatment and again he has started consuming 4-5 capsules a day,” Jamara said.

He said, “Of the 300 addicts identified, many have stopped taking drugs. One should have strong will power to quit addiction and the success rate is 30% only.”

The NGO works for conservation of Great Indian Bustard, child education, environment and drug de-addiction in Jaisalmer.