Press Esc to close

Punjab does a reality check as a 'drugged' state

Last updated: 01 July, 2010
Chandigarh, July 1, (IANS): 13:07 IST

With Punjab emerging as a major transit and destination point for drugs coming from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the state government has begun a new campaign against drugs to check addiction and abuse among youth.

The state's health department has commissioned a study on drug abuse in the border districts of Punjab to know how widespread the menace is and to initiate corrective measures. State Health and Family Welfare Minister Luxmi Kanta Chawla has announced that each of the state's 20 districts will now have a drug de-addiction centre in each civil hospital by the end of this year.

"A proposal to establish 10-bedded drug dependence treatment centres in all 20 district civil hospitals has been sent to the planning board for inclusion in the annual plan 2010-11," Chawla said. Alarmed by the growing menace of 'habit-forming' drugs, Chawla said the health department had in the last five months alone seized drugs worth nearly Rs.80 lakh from 225 chemist shops and premises like warehouses during searches at nearly 2,200 places.

Many selling habit-forming drugs have been arrested, penalised and, in some cases, their licences to sell medicines have been cancelled. But there is a larger dimension to the issue. Punjab Police officials say that drugs worth over Rs 2,000 crore (over $430 million) could be transiting and landing in Punjab. In the last two years security agencies have seized drugs worth over Rs 600 crore ($129 mn) .

"The amount of drugs that are seized could be less than 20 per cent of the total drugs trade through the state," a senior Punjab Police official told reporters. Chawla says that being a border state, with 550-km international border with Pakistan, Punjab "has became a transit point in international drug trafficking". "Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Ferozepur are at increased risk of the drug menace," she added.

Even Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is also the state's home minister, has publicly acknowledged that the drugs menace was widespread in the state, especially among youth. Punjab at present has three drug de-addiction centres in government medical colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot. Seven other de-addiction centres are functional at district hospitals at Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar and Hoshiarpur.

"De-addiction treatment in OPDs has been provided to 15,113 patients, while 2,421 patients were admitted for de-addiction in government de-addiction centres in 2009," Health Minister Chawla said. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi has imparted training in drug-abuse prevention to 20 psychiatrists from Punjab in the past six-eight months, thanks to a state government initiative.

Besides the government de-addiction centres, scores of private de-addiction centres, many of them illegal, are being run in smaller towns, villages and cities across Punjab. But drug addicts are often kept in miserable conditions in these private de-addiction centres. Raids have been conducted in some centres in the last few years and the patients have been freed by health authorities and the police. There are also 26 voluntary de-addiction/counselling centres in Punjab being run under the control of the central government's health ministry.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

England Midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi(14) and Hinata Kida(6),Midfielder of Japan vie for the ball ..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Actress and BJP MP Hema Malini along with her daughters Ahana and Esha cutting a cake to celebrate..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and ..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Kamaraj Congress (KKC) and Most Backward Communities Federation demonstrators lying on the road in..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Rajesh Talwar arrives at his residence in Noida on Monday after he, along with his wife Nupur, was..

Social activists sit near earthen lamps, lit in a formation that reads 'No Crackers', to urge ...

Social activists sit near earthen lamps, lit in a formation that reads 'No Crackers', to urge ...

Dentist-couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar coming out of the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad on Monday after ...

Dentist-couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar coming out of the Dasna Jail in Ghaziabad on Monday after ...

Widows celebrating Diwali at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near Mathura on Monday...

Widows celebrating Diwali at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near Mathura on Monday...

Widows attending the marriage ceremony of a young widow at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near ...

Widows attending the marriage ceremony of a young widow at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan near ...

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor presents a creation during a fashion event in New Delhi on Saturday..

Bollywood actress Vaani Kapoor presents a creation during a fashion event in New Delhi on Saturday..

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.