Tribune News Service
Bathinda, July 7
Owing to unwillingness on the part of addicts to undergo rehabilitation after treatment, a total of 447 persons took admission to the government-run rehabilitation centre at Industrial Growth Centre here in the past four years.
Officials of the Health Department are of the view that efforts are on to make it mandatory for every addict to undergo rehabilitation at the centre.
The centre was established in 2015 and according to the data, as many as 24 addicts were admitted in the first year. In 2016, a total of 84 addicts underwent rehabilitation. In 2017, the number was 100, while in 2018, a total of 170 addicts were admitted to the centre. This year, the number of addicts is 69.
The data also revealed that only a small fraction of the total number of addicts - 2,971 addicts admitted to the drug de-addiction centre in the past four years - has actually made it to the rehabilitation centre after their treatment was over.
Roop Singh Mann, manager at the rehabilitation centre, said, “Not all addicts are willing to undergo rehabilitation. At the rehab centre, addicts are not given medicines so they tend to think if there are no medicines involved, treatment is over.”
He said, “The distance of the centre from the city and longer duration of the rehabilitation process are two other factors that keep addicts away from the rehab sessions. Lack of awareness regarding the the substantial role played by rehabilitation, addicts think that counselling sessions will barely help them.”
Notably, the daily charges for admission to the rehabilitation centre was Rs 250 per till 2016. Thereafter, these were reduced by Rs 50. And last year, the government has made it completely free for the addicts.
Doctors at the de-addiction centre said it was surprising that despite the entire expenses for rehabilitation are borne by the Health Department, not many addicts had shown inclination to avail it.
Dr Arun Bansal, psychiatrist at the Civil Hospital, said, “Unwillingness and lack of awareness regarding rehabilitation can be jointly attributed to the low inflow of addicts at the rehabilitation centre. Apart from counselling, physical and recreational activities as part of rehabilitation, addicts are also engaged in different types of skill-based trainings to make them employable, bringing them into the mainstream.”