OPD centres for drug addicts in hospitals, eight jails in Punjab from May
The project is similar to the programme that National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) runs to rehabilitate injectable drug userspunjab Updated: Apr 24, 2018 23:52 IST
The Punjab government will launch its Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT), a kind of outdoor patient department (OPD), to treat drug addicts at 41 sub-divisional hospitals from May, health minister Brahm Mohindra said on Tuesday. The move follows successful pilot run of the project at government rehabilitation centres in Moga, Amritsar and Tarn Taran, starting October 2017.
The project will be launched in eight Central jails and 19 rehabilitation centres in the state. At the three centres, over 4,000 patients had registered, of which 3,490 have been getting regular treatment.
Under the OOAT project, a free dose of Buprenorphine (an opioid that treats addiction while preventing withdrawal symptoms) is given to patients as an alternative to the drug they have been addicted to.
The project is similar to the programme that National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) runs to rehabilitate injectable drug users.
A senior doctor privy to the project said, “Training has been given to 143 medical officers, 159 staff nurses, 63 counsellors and other staff to run these centres.”
Dose to be given under doc observation
With reports that addicts misuse Buprenorphine, as it is also an addictive substance, officials said the dose will be given to the patient under doctor’s observation.
“The user of the Buprenorphine dose will be observed by the staff concerned for at least 20 minutes till he won’t swallow the dose,” said Sandeep Bhola, a psychiatrist and de-addiction expert at the Kapurthala Civil Hospital.
Mohindra added patients will be registered online. “Authorities will keep a record of patients as well as the doses of buprenorphine, so that there in no misuse,” he added.