The ongoing lockdown in Punjab in the wake of the coronavirus crisis has registered a massive jump in the number of patients at Kapurthala drug de-addiction centre with as many as 200 fresh cases between March 25 and 31.
Earlier, the centre would register nearly three new outdoor patients every week on an average. Most of these addicts are hooked to heroin, chitta, opium or some other narcotic substance.
The patients are undergoing treatment at Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Society – Navkiran — located within the premises of the Civil Hospital, Kapurthala. Navkiran is also the first drug de-addiction centre treating women in the state.
“There has been a steep increase in the number of patients since they are unable to get their supply of drugs due to the lockdown,” Dr Sandeep Bhola, who is in charge of the centre, said.
In the absence of any drugs, the addicts are forced to opt for treatment due to the heavy withdrawal symptoms, he added.
The doctor said that most of the new patients are between the age group of 30-35 and also include students and women. The addicts are not getting admitted to the centre but given medicines, he added.
Sources in the Punjab Health Department said the medicines are being delivered to the doorsteps in the various districts.
A senior minister said, “With the breaking of the dug supply lines, addicts are visiting several centres to get the treatment.”
The minister added that the lockdown had managed to curb the drug menace within one week, something which the government has been trying hard to achieve in the past few years.
Currently, around 6,000 addicts are registered with the centre, including 30 women.
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