Over 26,000 new drug addicts registered during Curfew under De-Addiction Program: Balbir Singh Sidhu

April 14, 2020 10:01 PM

CHANDIGARH: More than 26,000 new drug addicts have joined the Punjab Government-run Drug Addiction Program during the curfew. Under this program, the health department is constantly supplying the medicines in all districts to ensure the treatment of patients so that these services do not affect at any level across the state.

Giving these details in a press communiqué, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that on the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, despite preparedness to deal with Corona Virus affected patients in public hospitals, a special campaign is being launched to register new patients under the Drug Addiction Program. In just 20 days, more than 26,000 patients have been registered. He said that curfew has been imposed in Punjab keeping in view the threat of Corona virus which was affecting the drug addiction program. He said that in case of non-availability of therapeutic services, the patient is likely to leave treatment which can be fatal for the patient. Considering the circumstances take home dose is now extended for 21 days. The medicine is being released to the patient only after the advice of the psychiatrist.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu further said that as a major relief to drug addicts during this challenging period of Novel Corona virus (Covid-19), 198 OOAT clinics, 35 Government De-Addiction Centers and 108 Licensed private De-addiction centers have been allowed to give the dose of buprenorphine + naloxone drugs to registered patients after being evaluated by a psychiatric doctor. He said that these centres have been strictly instructed to maintain the social distancing while providing the treatment. Patients are being sensitized that coronary disease is dangerous and if they have high fever, dry cough and difficulty in breathing, anyone must be immediately contacted the nearest health centre.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that instructions have also been issued to all civil surgeons in this regard. He said that the Punjab government, under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh, is committed to provide health services under the De-Addiction Program along with other treatment services. He said that during this time of curfew and lockdown, the government has taken special initiatives for the treatment and care of patients suffering from drug addiction so that maximum number of young people can get rid of drug addiction.

He said that Panchayats, Social Service organizations and Youth Welfare Clubs were being approached to encourage such patients to come to their respective centers and clinics so that the misguided youth could be cured.

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