Urine Tests to check use of habit-forming drugs & opioid substances in patients start: Balbir Sidhu

Chandigarh, 30 October, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Punjab Government has taken a leap forward regarding urine screening testing of the patients coming to de-addiction centres and OOAT Clinics for treatment of substance abuse. This project is being taken up in district Sangrur and district Tarn Taran as a pilot project.

Giving details in press communique, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that more than four thousand patients have been screened so far to check the use of habit-forming drugs and opioid substances and to prescribe treatment accordingly by the psychiatrists.

The main focus is now on monitoring and supervision of these de-addiction and rehabilitation centres to provide quality care services to patients as per their medical needs. Activities based on awareness generation and sensitization of the community and target groups is the backbone of de-addiction program.

In order to promote livelihood activities and to instill self-esteem in these individuals to keep them away from the drugs the state government led by Captain Amarinder Singh has also initiated the skill development program.

The Cabinet Minister said that even during these difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government has continued its commitment to tackle the menace of substance abuse in State.

Considering the gravity of situation the government has devised a multi-pronged comprehensive de-addiction services plan which provided golden chance for a new and healthy life to patients suffering from addiction of opioid substances.

Mr. Sidhu said that these services are provided through a network of 35 Public Sector De-addiction centres, & 199 Govt. OOAT clinics as well as 135 Private De-addiction Centres have also been authorized in state for treatment.

People with addiction are availing the services from licensed de-addiction centres due to increase in accessibility of de-addiction facilities and faith of people in the system so that the state government has launched the urine screening program in the two districts as a pilot project. This program would further be enhanced in all districts in a phased manner.

Till now more than 5.95 lac patients have so far been registered for treatment under de-addiction program and this is the result of tireless efforts made by the Punjab Government to enroll more and more addicted patients for the treatment .Adding that Minister said to render de-addiction services in jail inmates, the De-addiction services are also being provided in 9 Central Jails.

Describing ‘Mental Health For All: Greater Investment, Greater Access’ is the aim of de-addiction program, Mr. Sidhu said that the need for mental health has increased tremendously during these terrifying times of Covid-19 pandemic and government has taken various measures to tackle this social evil with iron fist.

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