Drug addiction, a curse for youth in border areas of Punjab

May 4th, 2010 - 7:44 pm ICT by ANI  

By Ravinder Singh Robin

Tarn Taran (ANI), May 4: The problem of drug addiction is steadily assuming alarming proportions in Punjab’s border areas which include many villages adjoining Pakistan.

Several youth, who were expected to take up their traditional agricultural business, are instead, trapped in the drugs’ world.

Though many families are affected by the drugs’ menace, the Punjab Government has done precious little to prevent its trafficking. The worsening condition of the youth highlights the problem.

One can easily get a gram of heroin for rupees 1,000.00, smack for Rs. 300.00 a gram or an injection of morphine for as little as Rs. 25, and that too, without prescription from a medical practitioner.

Not just that, but local drug addicts have given interesting names to name these drugs. “Sharabi Samaan” (Liquor material) is used to denote smack whereas heroin is called “Kishti Samaan” (Boat material).

Synthetic drugs are also in high demand, as any old addict may require as much as over 25 morphine injections for his body.

The case of HIV/AIDS through drug-addiction or using the used syringes is also on increase in the area.

A drug addict for years said that he never wanted to indulge into the menace, but unavoidable family circumstances and his association with bad society pushed him to drug abuse.

“I have studied till XII grade and cleared IELTS. But due to unemployment and family pressure, I took to drugs. I know it is not good for my health but I am helpless,” said a drug addict, requesting anonymity.

He said there were over 50 youth of his village who are into drug addiction. But he said he wished the government could have done something for their rehabilitation in villages.

Admitting to the rise of drug abuse in Punjab, Pritpal Singh Virk, Special Superintendent of Police, Tarn Taran District, said the police have undertaken some initiatives to prevent drug addiction here.

“Police are aware that youth in Punjab are getting into this trade. Punjab Police have also initiated an awareness drive to educate parents and youth about the evils of drug abuse,” Virk said.

About 100 kilometres of the international border area falls in Tarn Taran District, and though there are bleak chances of border-crossing, drug-drop offs are taking place from the Pakistan’s side.

“We will not let anybody who is in this trade to addict youth,” he said.

There are many de-addiction camps being run privately, Government hospitals also have de-addiction centres but they fail to provide results.

Dr. Rana Ranbir Singh, a psychiatrist and in-charge of a government run drug de-addiction center, said that for the last two-and-a-half-years, there has been about 100 percent occupancy at the center, which shows an increase in drug abuse.

He also revealed that most drug addicts belong to the 16 to 35 age group, which indicates the high vulnerability of young people in the border belt.

He, however, said that basically it is a psychological problem and that there is a tremendous need for rehabilitation centers. (ANI)

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