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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Capsules most preferred by drug addicts of state

Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 10, 2014
First Published: 10:58 IST(10/5/2014) | Last Updated: 11:02 IST(10/5/2014)

Neither heroin nor smack, it’s indigenous intoxicants ranging from capsules (Propoxyphene) to poppy husk that are most preferred by drug addicts in Punjab.

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The fact came to light in a recent study, which was conducted in 10 drug de-addiction centres across the state and appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Diagnostic Research, published from New Delhi.

The study was carried out by the department of community medicine of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana, and the psychiatry department of Government Medical College, Patiala.

It analysed the record of 5,320 drug addicts. The study revealed that Propoxyphene capsules were most commonly consumed by drug addicts who came for treatment to de-addiction centres across the state.

Propoxyphene is used for relieving mild to moderate pain. According to experts, it can cause side effects that may impair thinking or reactions.

Addicts of capsules (Propoxyphene) top the chart with 29%, followed by those of alcohol (14.9%) and bhukki (poppy husk) with 13.3%.

On the marital status of drug addicts, the study found that a majority of the patients were married (72.5%), while 18.1% were unmarried. About 9.4% of them were separated/divorced due to drug abuse.

Regarding their education level, it was found that about 36.3% of the patients were educated up to higher secondary, 18.43% (middle pass), 13.53% (primary education), 11.8% (literate – can read and write), and 10.9% (illiterate).

Interestingly, 5.64% were graduates and 3.4% postgraduates. A study conducted in 2004 by the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment among men found that tobacco use (55.8%) was most common, followed by alcohol (21.4 %) and cannabis (3%). Punjab was ranked third among the states in having the largest percentage of drug users.

DOUBT OVER CM CLAIMS

The study raises a question mark on Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s claims that Punjab is in the grip of the drug menace due to its proximity to the Pakistan border. It reveals that drugs such as heroin and cocaine — usually smuggled from Pakistan — make even less than 5% of the total drugs consumption among addicts in Punjab. Capsules are the most abused substance.

User %age
Capsules                     29
Alcohol                       15
Bhukki (poppy husk)   13
Opium                          4
Cannabis                      2
Buprenorphine              2
Brown sugar                 2
Inhalants                       1
Cocaine                        1
Heroin                          1
Morphine                   0.5
Others                        29

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