Pb govt slams SAD for spreading misinformation on drug issue

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Pb govt slams SAD for spreading misinformation on drug issue

Chandigarh, May 2 (PTI) The Punjab government today accused the Shiromani Akali Dal of playing “dirty” politics over the issue of drug menace, saying it was “misleading people by spreading false and unsubstantiated” information.

Citing the official data, an official spokesperson said that contrary to what the SAD is claiming, the Amarinder Singh government in just 45 days of assuming charge has not only broken the backbone of the drug mafias in the state but also successfully created an enabling environment needed to bring drug addicts back into the mainstream of the society.

As per the data, the government drug de-addiction centres had seen a whopping increase in OPD and indoor patients, over the average monthly figures of 2016, after the installation of the new government in the state, the spokesperson said.

With 18,440 out patient department (OPD) visits from March 16 to April 26, 2017, the increase was over 48.1 per cent, while the indoor patients in the same period had increased by 103 per cent to 1446 across the state.

Pointing out that these were figures of the government centres only, the spokesperson said huge numbers of patients also reported at the private centres and hospitals, endorsing the massive success of the Punjab government s concerted crackdown on the drug mafias in the state.

A massive increase in drug-related cases, arrests and seizures have been reported in the last two weeks of April.

While recovery of poppy husk had almost tripled, that of opium, powder and ganja was more than double. Similarly, the recovery of the medicinal drugs had tripled in this period, as per the data.

The spokesperson pointed out that with drug supplies getting chocked, prices of whatever little was available in the market had shot through the roof, putting it out of the reach of the people.

The total FIRs registered under NDPS Act in this period stood at 797, with 920 arrests.

The drug-wise seizures were heroin 2.926 kg, Smack 3,482 kg, Opium 50.792 kg, Poppy husk 2212.274 kg, Powder-26.174 kg, Ganja 86.382 kg, Charas 10.870 kg, Sulfa 0.800 kg, number of capsules 38305, number of tablets 439063 and number of injections 5140.

Referring to the official data for de-addiction centres, the spokesperson said that the OPD and indoor figures for Model De-addiction Centre GMC-Amritsar stood at 457 and 198, DH-Barnala (550 and 72), Model De-addiction Centre Bhatinda (1618 & 97), Model De-addiction Centre GGMC Faridkot (459 & 33), DH-Fatehgarh Sahib (337 and 46), DH-Fazilka (1109 and 19), SDH-Abohar (1696, 28), DH-Ferozepur (304, 54), DH- Gurdaspur (603, 39) and SDH-Batala (225, 25).

Dismissing as “ludicrous” the SAD demand for the government to release data on the number of addicts actually weaned away from drugs, the spokesperson said this completely exposed their lack of understanding and sensitivity about the drugs menace and the physical, mental and emotional impact it had on the youth addicted to drugs.

“If they had any understanding of the problem they would have realised that de-addiction requires medical and psychiatric treatment which may span months,” he added.

The problems caused by drugs, which the SAD government had allegedly connived with dealers to spread to rampant and dangerous levels during its tenure, are not easy to tackle and require major medical attention and support.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.