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Drug addiction is a disease but it is restorative: Punjab CM
In view of campaign started against the opening of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres to make Punjab a drug free state, the Punjab Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badala today visited de-addiction and rehabilitation centres in Ferozepur.

Firstly he visited the de-addiction centre in the local Civil Hospital and later visited the newly ear-marked place both the for de-addiction and rehabilitation at place where Old Age Home (Baghban) was running, by shifting the inmates to the old deaf and dumb school building in the Home for the Blinds lying vacant, after proper renovation by the Red Cross Society.

Speaking to the media persons, Parkash Singh Badal said, today his second day of two-days whirlwind tour of all the drug de-addiction centers across the state along with experts and the key officers of the health department.

He said, “I have come to see as to what arrangements are being made in these de-addiction centres and additional requirement if any.”

Badal was accompanied by Kamal Sharma, Punjab BJP President, Sher Singh Ghubaya, MP Ajit Awasthi, Health Expert and PrincipalSecretary Health Mrs. Vinnie Mahajan. On this occasion, K.J.S.Cheema, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Joginder Singh Jindu MLA Rural, Sukhpal Singh Nannu, former CPS, V.K.Sharma, Commissioner, D.P.Chjandan, D.P.S.Kharbanda, DC Ferozepur, Gurpreet Singh Toor, SSP, Dr.Y.K.Gupta, Civil Surgeon, Pritam Singh Malsian, Darshan Singh SGPC Members, Master Gurnam Singh and representatives of various NGOs were also present.

He further said, drug addiction is a disease but it is restorative with treatment at the proper drug de-addiction centres.”

Badal said, we will try that Punjab is a drug-free-state within a period one and a half year under the guidance the health experts. He however, showed satisfaction over the existing arrangements in the de-addiction centres.

Badal also confirmed that 10-bed unit is being opened in the entire districts of the state while 50-bed centres are under construction at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patriala, Bhatinda and Faridkot. Apart from this, female centres will also come up on need basis.

Chief Minister said there are only 5000 psychiatrist doctors in India and we too are short of psychiatrist doctors, a process of recruitment following with two months training is already under process.

Badal on the spot directed the Deputy Commissioner and SSP that instead of sending the drug addicts to jails, they should be admitted in the de-addiction centres for treatment and keep a close eye on them.

In reply to the question about the recognition of private de-addiction cetnres, Badal said, like Cancer treatment, the private drug de-addiction centres will be recognizes on need basis provided they have proper required infra structure. Presently, the arrangements available with the government are sufficient and in case of any future requirement, the capacity of centres will be increased.

To another question, Badal said, district societies will be constituted and the dedication NGOs will be given preference.

About the starting of the campaign after the election results, he said, campaign against drug de-addiction is old but we are now bringing improvements in the centres.

Regarding charging of fee from the inmates, Health Expert, Ajit Awasthi said, normally the drug addicts after some time leave the rehabilitation centres and by charging the nominal fee they have a feeling to do something to live a life with dignity and are not misused.

Regarding the coordination between the various secret agencies, Badal said, the state agencies are working sincerely and the recovery of heavy consignment of intoxicant material in the past is the result of having proper coordination between the state and central agencies.



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