On the occasion of the United Nations sponsored international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, district officials and employees took oath here on Friday to rid the country of drugs and conform to this year's theme: 'Let's develop our lives, our communities, our identities without drugs'.
Additional deputy commissioner, Sangrur, Arvind Kumar MK was the chief guest. Speaking on the occasion, he said, "Drugs act like termites consuming the human body and vital organs resulting in health problems and complications." Assistant civil surgeon, Surinder Singla cautioned those who were hooked to alcoholic drinks and drug abuse not to ruin their lives and think of their families and the society at large.
For the information of the audience, Singla listed the medical facilities available at the de-addiction centres in the district located at Sangrur (one each run by the district red cross society and the civil hospital), Cheema, and Malerkotla. Between 2010 and May 2015, as many as 1158 patients, who had fallen prey to drugs and intoxicants, were treated at these centres.
In addition, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers from National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and volunteers are also lending a helping hand in identifying and motivating addicts to take help of such centres. In return they are paid an honorarium of Rs 200 per patient referred to the de-addiction centre and an additional Rs 500 per patient, if he/she completes the de-addiction treatment. Singla said, "ASHA workers have helped 511 patients to rescue their lives so far."
The function was attended by senior health officers and officials from various departments. June 26 is observed as international day against drugs and illicit trafficking since 1987. In fact, to put focus on substance abuse, the UN office on drugs and crime has scheduled a special session of the UN general assembly in 2016.