Wednesday, September 27, 2017

22 lakh Punjabis are addicted to alcohol and 16 lakh to tobacco....victim needs barrier free services

#Mission barrier services
Projected number of victims of substance use (Alcohol,Tobacco & Drugs) may vary from one study to other...the truth is all about the suffering of people living with substance use disorder and their family members . Govt. and NGOs need to look at the issue of underutilization of existing drug treatment and rehabilitation services in the Punjab . For example Punjab’s first government-run rehabilitation centre for addicts was opened in Amritsar in 2015, according to press reports the patient so far count reflects its failure to become a trusted facility. This, even as addicts flock to private centres in the city and elsewhere. Not once has the Rs 5-crore, 50-bed facility been filled to capacity. 
According to the PGI study, while 22 lakh Punjabis are addicted to alcohol and 16 lakh to tobacco, less than 1 per cent may be hooked on drugs. The single most common substance used is alcohol (22 lakh), followed by tobacco (16 lakh). The study team surveyed 6,398 households in all 22 Punjab districts, picking 22 cities and 22 villages in each district. The total number of respondents was 13,295, the age group 11 to 60 years. The figures however contradict Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's claimed while addressing a gathering in Chandigarh in 2012 that 70 per cent of Punjab's youth were hooked to drugs. Earlier on May 5, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had set up a two-member committee to prepare a de-addiction and rehabilitation plan for drug addicts in the state. The committee has been set up after studying the outreach model suggested by an eminent American drug therapist and consultant. Amarinder has asked the two-member committee, comprising Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, to work closely with PGI specialists to develop a focused strategy to strengthen the states network of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres.

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