Aiming AT removing the stigma attached with drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres, the Punjab health department has decided to rename both the drug facilities. Officials said that while the drug de-addiction centres has been renamed as Navjeevan Kendra (new life), the rehabilitation centres have been named as Navnirmaan Kendra (new start). The orders to rename the centres were issued on Monday after the proposal was cleared by the Health Minister Brahm Mohindra.
A senior government official told The Indian Express that Director Health Punjab has been instructed to take further action in the matter. The official said that the proposal of renaming the center was received from a psychiatrist, and its aim is to remove the stigma attached to the problem. “We have received feedback from the ground. Most addicts don’t prefer to visit these centers because of the negative perception which exist in the society,” said the official, adding, “We are hopeful that it would at least help us change this negative perception.”
“This is the first step taken to end the negative perception which exist in the society about these centres,” Dr Sandeep Bhola, a psychiatrist, who had proposed the names told The Indian Express. “This move is important as we need to end this stigma. Whether the number of the drug addicts would increase or not, that is a separate question. But to delink the stigma attached to these centres is need of the hour.”
Dr Atul Ambekar of All India Institute of Medical Sciences( AIIMS) National Drugs Dependence Treatment Centre in Ghaziabad, however, believes that renaming is not going to make huge impact.
“They serve only small number of patients. But for larger majority, what is required is long term outpatient treatment. We can try renaming the centres, but I don’t think it would have much of an impact. We need to integrate the addiction treatment services with the general health care services. It would help in reduction of the stigma,” Atul said.