A number of addicts of poppy husk and poppy pods of Barnala, Moga, Ludhiana, Mansa and Sangrur districts spent the whole day in the civil hospital here waiting and protesting for the de-addiction medicines prescribed by the psychiatrist in the hospital. The addicts hurriedly lined up in front of the Jan Aushadhi store when the medicines arrived in evening on Wednesday.
An addict Tara Singh, 65, of Mehal Khurd village said, “I was addicted to poppy husk for the last 45 years. It cost `20 per kg when I started taking it, but these days it is not available even at `3,500 a kg. This medicine is the easiest and workable method for de-addiction. We should either be provided the medicine or poppy husk should be made available to us.”
Another addict, Pala Singh, 62, of Thikriwal village said, “While we demand medicine free of cost, it is not made available to us even in black. In its absence, I can neither sleep nor work. My family members are always fearful that I may commit suicide..”
Secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, Raj Kumar Jindal, said, “We received 90 boxes of 100 tablets each today in the evening. We have ordered for another 300 boxes. Everything will be normal in a day or two.”
Civil surgeon Dr Renu passed the buck on the SMO in the matter saying that it was his responsibility. Regarding availability of medicines in the Jan Aushadhi store, she said that she was in no way linked with availability of medicines. However, she is ex-officio chairperson of the store and medicines are purchased only after her approval.