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Drug menace in Punjab: Addicts decry no psychiatrist at de-addiction centre in Sangrur

Having eight-bed capacity, the government run de-addiction centre has no patient. The addicts come for medical assistance at night seeking ‘immediate relief’ when they don’t get drugs.

punjab Updated: Jul 09, 2018 22:41 IST
Avtar Singh
Avtar Singh
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
Drug menace in Punjab,drugs,punjab news
(Representative image )

Amid tall claims of the Punjab government to have cut the supply chain of drugs in the region, the drug addicts in Sangrur, undergoing rehabilitation, are a harried lot in the absence of a psychiatrist at the de-addiction centre in the civil hospital.

Having eight-bed capacity, the government run de-addiction centre has no patient. The addicts come for medical assistance at night seeking ‘immediate relief’ when they don’t get drugs.

However, medical officers are not allowed to prescribe medicines for such patients and the psychiatrist’s post is lying vacant.

“Three patients allegedly consuming ‘chitta’ came within three hours in the emergency ward asking for immediate relief. But we could not prescribe any medicine in the absence of a special psychiatrist for drug addicts,” said a government doctor on the condition of anonymity.

“Sometimes angry drug addicts try to attack doctors too,” another doctor said.

Meanwhile, sources in the health department said a psychiatrist was called from Mansa who attended patients for two days a week but she is on one month’s leave. Patients who are serious are being referred to Patiala for further medical assistance, they added.

The district health department has given medical assistance to 140 drug addicts in Malerkotla, Dhuri, Moonak, Ghabdan (in Sangrur block) under Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) program.

On the other hand, a few yards away from the civil hospital, the Red Cross de-addiction centre with the capacity of 14 patients has a waiting list of 10 patients.

“We admit patients with the consent of their parents. We currently have 12 patents and 10 are on the waiting list,” said Mohan Sharma, director of Red Cross de-addiction centre.

Deputy commissioner Ghanshyam Thori claimed that all the required facilities will be provided in short period. “We have a visiting psychiatrist for the civil hospital. Though I have already sent the requisite for a psychiatrist to higher authorities of the health department, we also need 12 medical officers, including four specialists, for different hospitals of the district,” said Thori.

First Published: Jul 09, 2018 21:44 IST