Anti-drug campaign to spread awareness in Punjab

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Amritsar, July 6 (ANI): In a bid to raise awareness about the cost the society due to drug addiction, a play was staged here recently.

At Patti, a town located at the India-Pakistan border, the Punjab Police, in association with the State health department, launched a campaign to raise awareness about the menace.

It intended to educate public about drug-addiction's deadly effect in daily life, as drugs have been noticed being the root cause of many crimes and social evils. And, the play highlighted its ill effects on the society and on the addicts' families.

The play demonstrated how a family raises a happy child and bad company leads him towards drugs addiction. And the end is very tragic.The Indian government has decided to celebrate an Anti-drug Campaign Day. And it has been taken up by the Punjab police that observe the day to spread mass awareness. This programme makes the locals aware of the consequences and aftermath of drug addiction. I appeal to the officials to take this campaign to smaller towns and villages so that they can also benefit from it," said Prof. Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, State Health Minister in Punjab.

"We want cooperation from everyone, the society, government authorities, and family members. We should also know that how and what to advocate so that maximum awareness can be spread, and for that there should be advocacy camps. Heads of the village Panchayats should be made aware of the consequences of drugs on both family and society," said Dr. Rana Ranbir Singh, the Village Head.

A survey conducted by the Department of Social Security Development of Women and Children reveals that 67 per cent of the rural households in the state have at least one drug addict.

Also, the spread of AIDS is linked with the malady due to sharing of syringes. The death rate and the HIV positive cases have increased in Punjab by 60 per cent due to widespread use of intoxicants.

However, light has dawned on many individuals after passing through the dark tunnel of drug addiction.

Over 100 families want to spread this light through 'Wisdom Club', formed by DR. JPS Bhatia, a renowned psychotherapist. Apart from medical treatment, Bhatia counsels the patient to reject drugs.

"We have taken addiction as a disease. And we have drafted a plan to counter this disease. We have drawn it up according to the Punjabi culture. We do not follow the western style. So this programme of combating the addiction is planned to take care of Punjabi population, culture, beliefs, and identity. We are also focusing the NRI's from the outside states. We try to understand their psychology and motivate them. We take the help of religion. We work on the patients with a very humanistic approach," said J.P.S. Bhatia, a psychotherapist related to de-addiction of drugs.

For many years, Punjab was a transit point for drugs from Afghanistan, which were being routed to other parts of the world or metropolitan cities in the country.

Drug trafficking has increased by at last 30-40 per cent in the last year since cross-border civilian movement increased between India and Pakistan. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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