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Current Affairs

Punjab tackling drug problem

Date: 10 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

To keep addicts away from drugs, the Punjab government is planning to make use of alternate medication.

 

Background

The government has been facing opposition for failing to do enough to control drug problem in the state.

 

Details

  • The Chief Minister has decided to launch a 100-day Big Bang programme in an effort to boost anti-drug campaign.

  • The government will be expanding the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) in rural areas.  This will be done through opening extension centres and clinics. 

 

Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment Centres

  • A combination of buprenorphine and naloxone will be given as de-addiction medicine to opioid dependent people.

  • Individuals addicted to opioid drugs, including heroin, poppy husk and opium will benefit from the medicine which will be given in form of pills.

  • Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh formed a Special Task Force (STF) to set up the centres.

  • The government has established 202 OOAT centres. The dosage of the medicine depends upon the severity and duration of illness and type of illicit opioid used.

 

Administering medicine

  • In the first phase, patients are given medicine at the OOAT centres for a week or two to manage withdrawal symptoms from the drugs.

  • In the second phase, patient will be watched for taking any opioid based “super-imposed” illicit drug and given maximum tolerated dose of buprenorphine and naloxone to negate the kick of the “super-imposed” drug.

  • In the third phase, patients will be provided take-home medicine and it continues for a year and half before doctors assess if the medicine can be reduced. The medicines will be given for two weeks at a time.

 

Importance of OOAT

  • There are two methods of de-addiction. The first is abstinence approach and other alternate medication.

  • In abstinence based approach, there are more chances of relapse. The alternate medication for de-addiction is more effective.