Thursday, June 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

RMPs in grip of intoxicants
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

BATHINDA, June 28 ó Manjeet Singh (name changed) who is a registered medical practitioner (RMP) has become a purchaser of intoxicants.

Manjeet Singh, who used to sell and prescribe intoxicants to his patients, has been injecting morphine in his veins for a kick daily for the past two years.

Narayan Dass, another registered medical practitioner, has been undergoing the same agony. Narayan Dass, who used to sell intoxicants, now finds it difficult to survive without the dose of morphine injection and calmpose tablets.

Most of the medical practitioners and chemists, who tried to make a fast buck by selling intoxicants to drug addicts on a premium have themselves been reduced to full-blown cases of drug addiction.

Manminder Singh (name changed) of Moga district, who owns a big chunk of agriculture land and runs a chemistís shop, told TNS that he was not aware of inorganic drugs till he opened his shop. He has been undergoing treatment in the local Red Cross de-addiction centre. About one and a half-year ago he started injecting morphine in his veins. Today, drugs have become his life.

In the past six and a half years the local de-addiction centres have received 37 RMPs, who had become drug addicts. Most of these drug addicts were running their own shops in rural areas. A major section of these drug addicts had been hooked to the inorganic intoxicants which were available in their shops, sources said.

Official sources said the number of such cases had been increasing every year. In 1997 five RMPs came to the de-addiction centre for getting treatment. In 1998, the total number of such patients was six. In 1999, the number went up to eight. This year five patients had reported at the centre so far.

Dr Mehboob Singh Sran, project officer at the Red Cross de-addiction centre, said there were two factors which led to the RMPs and chemist shop owners taking to drugs. First, the RMPs and chemist shop owners used to try intoxicants to get relief from mental tension.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here, said this year the police had arrested eight chemists who were selling intoxicants and had seized 57 litres of liquid syrup, 211 injections and more than 2,000 tablets and capsules from them.Back

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