HIV +ve drug addicts struggling to get help in Sangrur

The members of NGO Youth Power Group claimed that they, along with the four addicts, met deputy commissioner Ramvir who directed them to the de-addiction centre. However, the authorities of the centre refused to admit them citing the illnesses
Red Cross De-Addiction Centre in Sangrur. (HT photo)
Red Cross De-Addiction Centre in Sangrur. (HT photo)
Updated on Jun 30, 2021 01:21 AM IST
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By Avtar Singh, Sangrur

Drug addicts having HIV infection or hepatitis C are struggling to get rehabilitation in Sangrur as de-addiction centres are turning them away due to such illnesses.

Four such persons who, with the help of a local NGO, reached Sangrur Red Cross De-Addiction Centre on Tuesday were denied admission due to HIV and hepatitis C.

The members of NGO Youth Power Group claimed that they, along with the four addicts, met deputy commissioner Ramvir who directed them to the de-addiction centre. However, the authorities of the centre refused to admit them citing the illnesses.

“Being denied treatment and rehabilitation disappointed the victims. We suspect that all four addicts might be HIV positive, but it is the responsibility of the administration to rehabilitate them,” said Vikramjit Singh Sidhu, chief of Youth Power Group.

“The families of these addicts, who hail from a locality notorious for drug abuse, approached us. We rushed to admit them. We demand that the administration organise a medical camp for all residents of the area,” he added.

A 26-year-old drug addict said they used to consume chitta, but when one of his friends died due to drug overdose in the past, he realised it was time to seek help or there would be no one to take care of his little daughter if he too meets the same fate as his friend’s.

Red Cross De-addiction Centre project director Mohan Sharma said that two youths were HIV positive and had hepatitis C and they were referred to civil hospital as such patients can’t be admitted to rehabilitation centre.

DC Ramvir said all men who wanted rehab would be admitted and given free treatment.

Civil surgeon Anjana Gupta said she has received the details of these addicts and one was suffering from HIV. “We have sent our teams and they will be given treatment soon. However, their relatives and friends will be screened,” added CS Gupta.

Deputy superintendent of police (rural) Satpal Sharma said they have already declared the concerned locality as a hotspot for drugs. “Two drug addicts and their fathers were also facing cases under the NDPS Act. If these men want rehab with the help of an NGO, the police will help them,” added Sharma.

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Friday, October 22, 2021