'25% drug addicts who consumed drugs through injections, caught HIV' | punjab | Hindustan Times
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'25% drug addicts who consumed drugs through injections, caught HIV'

On the eve of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, experts say it is necessary to create awareness regarding the bad consequences of drug addiction to prevent youth in taking the wrong path.

punjab Updated: Jun 25, 2013 20:23 IST
Harshraj Singh

On the eve of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, experts say it is necessary to create awareness regarding the bad consequences of drug addiction to prevent youth in taking the wrong path.

Dr SS Dhir, in-charge of Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) Center at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital said, “Will power, motivation, proper counselling and family support are the factors necessary for treatment against drug addiction. Proper awareness regarding drug abuse can be helpful to stop the youth from addiction.”

“It is a matter of concern that drug abusers are getting HIV infection by reusing the syringes. Around 350 drug addicts were registered at the OST center in the last two years. Out of them, around 30 died and some were suffering from HIV,” he added.

National Aids Control Organisation studied that 25% of drug addicts who took drugs by injections, suffered from HIV positive, said Dhir.

Dhir further added that it has been observed that drug addicts snatch or steal syringes to consume the drugs in time. But when sharing syringes, they get diseases such as hepatitis B, C and other infections. Their immunity level becomes weak and their body becomes addicted to drugs.

Stating that 20% of the patients at the OST center are those who have no homes, Dhir said, “These people buy drugs with the little earning that they have. Proper counseling is given to them and people suffering from HIV positive are also sent to Anti Retroviral (ART) center at the hospital for required treatment.

Working towards the drug de-addiction of the patients, we give them medicines under our supervision. Consequentially, around 10 % of them have left their habits, claimed Dr Dhir.

“As many as 50% of drug-addicts come from the age group of 15-22 year-olds, these days. The youngsters are becoming addicted to heroine quite a lot,” said Dr Rajeev Gupta, psychiatrist at Manas Hospital.

Symptoms
The early symptoms of drug addicts are lack of proper sleep, lack of food intake, lack of interest in studies, increase in demand for money, highly irritable and becoming violent with family members.

Precautions
The addicts usually take drugs in washrooms and if a child spends more time in the washroom, it could be an indication for parents.

Parents and teachers should diagnose children’s behavior at an early stage.

Counseling and proper awareness.

Steps should be taken against the easy availability of drugs.