Survey on to find extent of drug addiction in state | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Survey on to find extent of drug addiction in state

Three government medical colleges, including Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, have been asked to carry out a survey to find the exact prevalence and pattern of drug abuse in Punjab.

punjab Updated: Dec 03, 2015 21:52 IST
Vivek Gupta
Funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the survey is being carried out under the guidance of Dr Ajit Avasthi, head of the psychiatry department, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
Funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the survey is being carried out under the guidance of Dr Ajit Avasthi, head of the psychiatry department, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.(HT Photo)

Three government medical colleges, including Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, have been asked to carry out a survey to find the exact prevalence and pattern of drug abuse in Punjab.

On Wednesday, the Punjab and Haryana high court said Punjab was the motherland of drug problem while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL).

Funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the survey is being carried out under the guidance of Dr Ajit Avasthi, head of the psychiatry department, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, who is also the ICMR’s principal investigator in the region.

All districts have been equally divided among three government colleges —Rajindra Hospital, Patiala; Government Medical College, Amritsar and Guru Gobind Singh Medical College & Hospital, Faridkot — for the survey that claims to uncover the drug problem in the state.

Head of the psychiatry department, Rajindra Hospital, Dr BS Sidhu told HT that they had been given the responsibility of carrying out the survey in seven districts of the state, including Barnala, Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Roopnagar, Mohali and Fatehgarh Sahib.

He said: “After training at the PGIMER, our field workers have already begun the preliminary survey in terms of identification of focus areas in these districts. Our researchers visited a few areas in Patiala yesterday.”

“We are under the process to arrange questionnaire and other paraphernalia for the survey,” he said, adding that at least one village and one urban constituency will be covered in each of the district. “We have three-four months to complete our field work, including interviews of the affected people. Every college has been given senior research fellow besides one field staff in each district, he added

He said the survey on drug abuse was always a challenging job since people don’t actively come forward in sharing their problems. “The problem of drug abuse is rampant in the state, but it can’t be quantified unless we carry out a thorough research work. Hopefully, this survey, a copy of which will be sent to state government, will throw some light on the problem. Alcoholism is a part of the overall drug abuse in the state in our survey,” he added