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Punjab govt to open 300 new Opioid Assisted Treatment centres to tackle drug addiction, check details

The major officials of the state government also decided to boost the attain of the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres in the hinterlands of the state. (Representative image)

The state government in Punjab is relying on the use of alternate medication to tackle the menace of drug addiction. The government is giving alternate medicines to the addicts to wean them away from the grip of drugs, the Indian Express reported. The government headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is also below the fire of the opposition which is blaming the government for undertaking tiny to curb the menace. The government has decided to launch a mega one hundred-day Big Bang programme to tackle drug addiction in the state. A meeting chaired by CM’s Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, it was decided that a one hundred-day Big Bang programme will be launched to give a push to the anti-drug campaign. The major officials of the state government also decided to boost the attain of the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres in the hinterlands of the state.

What are Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres?
The centres have been opened by the government in the year 2017 as a one-quit location for the drug addicts. The centres provide a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone as a de-addiction medicine to the addicts who have registered at the centres. Drug addicts who are habitual buyers of opioid drugs, heroine, opium and poppy husk amongst other individuals can register with the OOAT centres. The Congress party which defeated the BJP-Akali combine in the assembly elections had pointed out a option to drug addiction in its election manifesto and the government launched the centres months right after it was sworn in.



Spanning across the state there are a total of 202 government-run OOAT centres in addition to the 54 government and 224 private de-addiction centres in the state. More than seven lakh drug addicts are registered with these OOAT centres, the Indian Express reported. Consultant Psychiatrist and technical advisor to Punjab’s anti-drug Special Task Force Dr Rana Ranbir Singh told the Indian Express that the dosage of the medicine depends on the severity of drug addiction in a topic and 3-4 tablets a day are administered to the addicts on an typical.



one hundred day Big Bang Programme
In addition to the current 202 OOAT centres, the government is now arranging to open 300 new centres to make the therapy accessible at the door-step of drug addicts. STF chief-cum-Additional Director General of Police Harpreet Singh Sidhu told the Indian Express that the initiative is aiming at creating medicines nearer to the residence of addicts. Sidhu also stated that the new centres will also unburden the current 202 centres.

Why is government pinning hopes on OAAT centres?
Dr Rana told the Indian Express that broadly there are two approaches to tackling drug addiction-abstinence method and alternate medication method. In the abstinence method, the addicts solely on the basis of their will-energy refrain from consuming drugs whereas in the medication method, the addicts take enable of medicines to quit drugs. Dr Rana explained that the abstinence method would have taken years of remain in the de-addiction facilities to wean away the addicts from drugs whereas the alternate medication method has proved greater in discovering a lasting option to drug addiction. Rana also stated that in the abstinence method there are possibilities of relapse right after many months whereas the medication has proved more efficient in tackling the menace.



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