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AIIMS to map drug abuse in the country

delhipaper Updated: Jul 04, 2016, 09:06 IST

NEW DELHI: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has decided to conduct a nationwide survey on drug use/abuse to gauge state level estimates on number of drug users. This, the hospital said, will help the states in formulating targeted policies for rehabilitation of drug users.

The two-year long survey will be conducted in collaboration with the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment and will cost around Rs 22 crore.

The survey will map the presence of services available in various states for individuals dependent on drugs and identify the gaps in service delivery.

“This survey may actually change the way we deal with drug abuse in the country and the kind of treatment services that are needed. The data which will be collected will give a localized picture of what the problem is in a particular state and what kind of treatment facility is required,” said Dr Atul Ambekar, additional professor at the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) at AIIMS and principal investigator of the survey.

Till date, there has been only one national level study, which was conducted in 2004, about drug abuse. “The 2004 survey provides only national level data, which is of no help for individual states in formulating their own policies. Also, the survey is based on drug abuse only among men,” said Dr Ambedkar.

The current study will focus on women drug users as well. “Although there is no data, there are clinical indications that drug use among women is going up. It is still rare, only around 5–10% of the people who come to seek treatment are women,” Ambedkar said.

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