- Woman goes to de-addiction centre thrice, they release her in 4-5 days
- Punjab government struggles to curb massive drug problem in the state
- In last 2.5 years, more than 160 people have died due to drug overdose
A woman in Amritsar has kept her daughter chained at home to keep her from taking drugs, as the Punjab government struggles to curb drug abuse in the state. The woman reportedly sought help from government de-addiction centres and even reached out to authorities, before finally resorting to a more extreme measure.
On Tuesday, Amritsar MP and Congress leader Gurjeet Singh Aujla visited his constituency to meet the woman and assured the family of medical help. "It's an unfortunate incident. I've directed doctors to treat the affected girl at her home," he was quoting as saying by news agency ANI.
The woman claims that her daughter has relapsed several times. "I admitted my daughter to a government-run de-addiction centre thrice, but they used to release her in four to five days. How can a drug addict be cured in four-five days? I even implored doctors to admit my daughter till she was cured, but to no avail," she said.
While there is no substantive data on female addict, Punjab has just one de- addiction centre for women.
Earlier this year, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said his government was taking strong measures to curb drug abuse in the state.
"More than 28,000 drug peddlers have been arrested with the help of the special task force," he had claimed, adding that the menace was being eliminated through the twin initiatives of "enforcement and treatment".
In the last two-and-a-half-years, more than 160 people have died due to drug overdose. A 2015 survey conducted by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS, put the figure of dependent users in need of treatment at 3.2 lakh. The latest survey by the same body released earlier this year said the number has gone up to 7.2 lakh.
A 2018 report prepared by a Delhi-based think tank said that courts in Punjab were sending people caught with drugs to jail. This, despite the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act allowing people caught with drugs to be sent to de-addiction centres for rehabilitation.
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