‘Drug Abuse and Prevention Officer(DAPO)’ drive has shown positive results in Barnala district as the footfall of patients addicted to synthetic drugs has came to a standstill. While disclosing the information during a review meeting with civil administration and police officials, Deputy Commissioner Barnala Dharam Pal Gupta said that only 147 patients got themselves registered in OOAT centres this month till October 11 against 602 in September & 1712 in August none of them was addicted to synthetic drugs. He added as many as 8,500 patients addicted to various drugs have undergone treatment in government and private drug de-addiction centres in Barnala district since May 2018. He informed that now patients addicted to traditional drugs like poppy husk, opium and liquor. He directed the civil and police administration to ensure proper vigil against use and smuggling of drugs.Deputy Commissioner said that out of total 8,500 patients, 3,116 patients have undergone free treatment at Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Clinics and de addiction centees being run by health department at six locations at Barnala. He added that Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has started a campaign against drugs, to not only root out the drug supply , but also working for rehabilitation of drug addicts by providing them free treatment.
Dharam Pal Gupta added that to provide health care services and treatment to drug addict patients at the village level, the health department has set up 6 OOAT clinics in the district, where patient suffering from any drug addiction get treatment without being admitted to hospital. He added that the authorities of OOAT centres and private drug de addiction centres have been strictly instructed to ensure functioning of clinics and centres as per Standard Operating Protocol and mark daily attendance of patients. DC said that the health department followed need based approach that required people only with severe problem to be admitted in indoor facilities and most of the people can be treated in OPD Facility. “The psychiatrist in civil hospital is the overall in-charge of the OOAT clinics and department has already trained the Medical officers, Counselors, Staff Nurses and Data Entry Operators for smooth running of OOAT Clinics,” he added.Mr. Gupta said that administrative officials, DAPO volunteers and district police have been continuously working to create awareness against drugs by holding seminars and workshops at the educational institutes and villages. He added that ‘Tu Mera Buddy’ drive has also been running successfully in Barnala in which students, in groups of five in every educational institution, were keeping eye on fellow students to ensure that none of them gets trapped in the vicious cycle of drugs or other maladies. On this occasion, SSP Harjit Singh, SDM Sandeep Kumar, ADC (D) Parveen Kumar, Civil Surgeon Dr. Jugal Kishore, SP Sukhdev Singh Virk, SP Sharanjit Singh, all DSPs, health department officials among others were also present.