Jail and tourism minister Sohan Singh Thandal on Thursday inaugurated the 12-bedded drug de-addiction centre at the civil hospital, Hoshiarpur on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The centre was constructed about two years ago.
Health officials justified the delay in inauguration saying that drug patients were being admitted to the centre recently.
As many as 14 patients were admitted to the de-addiction centre on Thursday and around 250 approached the opioid substitution treatment (OST) centre for treatment.
Thandal interacted with the patients and urged them to complete their de-addiction course.
Addressing a seminar later on, he said around 8,000 inmates in state prisons were drug addicts for whom a special de-addiction drive had been initiated. He appealed to all addicts to approach government OST centres to get rid of drugs.
Stating that drugs adversely affected a man's physical, social and financial condition, he urged NGOs to co-operate with the government fight the menace.
Civil surgeon Surjit Singh informed that during the ongoing de-addiction fortnight awareness seminars were being held throughout the district and drug addicts were being treated during camps organised at all health centres.
He said the OST centres at Hoshiarpur and Dasuya were running successfully while the one at Mahilpur would start in a few days.