L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Drug policy illogical

As a psychiatrist and de-addiction specialist, I think the burst of activity on this front is high on motivation but low on logic. Arresting addicts and small peddlers (many addicts get sucked into peddling to feed their addiction) will make them hardened by the time they come out of the bowels of the criminal justice system.

Also, since the anti-drug campaign started, OPD clinics are flooded with oral opiate addicts where their addictive substance opium or opium husk is simply substituted by a prescription opiate tablet buprenorphine, a narcotic which leaves the person addicted to another potent opiate.

One is supposed to gradually taper off the dose and prescribe fewer tablets during subsequent visits. But, the patients make up for the decrease in supply by resorting to husk or ‘dode’, some of which is always available. This may lead to medically dangerous situations and not reduce the number of opiate addicts in Punjab.

Oral substitution therapy (OST) with buprenorphine is meant only for injectable (not oral) users of morphine or heroin to prevent the addicts from developing HIV. OST is an AIDS agenda and not a de-addiction agenda. That is why it is run by NACO (National Aids Control Organisation) and called harm reduction since it decreases the chances of injectable users developing AIDS.

Medically speaking, there is no harm reduction by substituting one oral opiate by another equally strong one. While trying to manage a crisis, in their anxiety, government strategists are creating a large-scale fresh crisis. The solution lies in awareness campaigns designed by experts, proper detoxification in certified clinics and rehabilitation that goes beyond making candles and pasting paper envelopes.

Dr AK Kala, Ludhiana

Make Punjab drug-free

The front page report “Hitting an alarming high” (June 2) reveals the shocking data of drug consumers in Punjab. The Tribune has comprehensively reported the sources and deadly effects of psychotropic drugs earlier on June 25, 2005. But instead of eradicating the drug menace, the law enforcing agencies have turned a blind eye to its spiralling effect all these years. Unfortunately, the successive governments have only nursed the politician-drug mafia nexus. It is excruciating for parents to see their grown-up children desperately cry for drugs to restore temporary normalcy.

The verdict of the recent parliamentary elections has spurred the government to take action against druggists and drug peddlers. However, the menace will not be eradicated until the patrons and suppliers of drugs are pushed behind the bars. It calls for a moral courage on the part of politicians to punish their near and dear ones. The Tribune has done a great service in awakening the masses and sensitising the government machinery to make Punjab a drug- free state.

Balwinder Singh, Jalandhar

Illegal medicine trade

The series on the drug menace in Punjab is good. But nothing has been mentioned about the illegal trade of UN-prescribed medication to the USA. This business is flourishing under the nose of the police. There are some call centres in Chandigarh that take orders of medication from Americans and their managers supply medicine through Indian Post.

Rajat Jaggi, Chandigarh

Why bring in faith?

This letter refers to the news item “Dera follower killed as bus hits mobike” (June 4). One wonders about the significance of highlighting the faith of the deceased. The important bit was the loss of an invaluable human life, irrespective of his faith. It is not expected of The Tribune to give a religious twist to such news for petty gains in readership.

Arvinder Singh, Zira

Don’t spice up story

I was shocked to read the news item mentioning the victim of an accident as a Dera Sacha Sauda follower. Was it necessary to describe a person in the accident as belonging to a particular section of society? The media should be unbiased and refrain from writing something that could catalyse communal violence in society. News should be reported without adding spice.

Lakhwinder Singh, USA

Irresponsible reporting

The news about a dera follower being killed in a road accident by a bus owned by the Badals is not as per the standards of The Tribune. Reporting that a certain follower has been killed by a vehicle owned by someone gives the impression that a specific person was deliberately on the rampage.


Radio memories

The middle “When radio was my favourite toy” by HS Aujla (May 21) was very interesting. Many of us still own old radio sets of different makes and models, wrapped carefully in storerooms and or even drawing rooms. Vividh Bharti, Urdu Service News Bulletins were the prime time charms. The introduction of jingles added colour to the listeners’ taste and moods. Wednesdays saw deserted streets from 8 pm to 9 pm when Ameen Sayani would update the current film songs in ‘Binaca Geet Mala’. Though television has invaded the listening and reading habits, radio programmes form part of our sweet memories.

Anil Dobhal, Shimla

Include Oppn, Modi

The new BJP government has instilled hope in people. Modi’s persona and the way he is forging relations with foreign delegates and SAARC leaders is commendable. However, the Lok Sabha is devoid of a strong Opposition. Modi should call a meeting of the opposition parties to achieve a democracy sans autocracy.

Divya Thakur, Rampur Bushahr

Increase ticket counters

The number of reservation and ticket counters need to be increased in Jalandhar City, Jalandhar cantonment, Phagwara, Ludhiana and Amritsar railway stations. Despite the facility of e-booking of tickets and the entry of private players in the field, long queues are witnessed at the reservation counters in these stations throughout the day . The general public has to suffer a lot as people have to stand in a line for hours to get a seat reserved.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru, Jalandhar



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |