Drug rehab centre at Kapurthala to be demolished for construction of medical college : The Tribune India

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Drug rehab centre at Kapurthala to be demolished for construction of medical college

Drug rehab centre at Kapurthala to be demolished for construction of medical college


Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, November 30

Government apathy has led to the gradual dilution of services at the only women de-addiction centre in the state at Kapurthala. The proposed site of Kapurthala Medical College is now set to claim another casualty - the drug rehabilitation centre in Kapurthala.

The only rehabilitation centre in Kapurthala is all set to be demolished for the construction of Kapurthala Medical College. Kapurthala has a festering drug problem. The de-addiction centre has an OPD for 700 to 800 patients every month. The ART centre at Kapurthala (started in October 2020) has 937 registered patients, 80 to 85 per cent of whom are IDUs (intravenous drug users).

At least one to two per cent of the addicts in Kapurthala are susceptible to HIV. The demolition of the rehab centre will hit the rehabilitation of many of the drug users, some of them potential high risk HIV patients. The 50-bed drug rehab centre set up on a 4 acre land on the Circular Road, is Kapurthala’s only government rehabilitation centre. It was converted to a 100-bed Covid facility for the Covid pandemic in 2020. Set up in 2015, the centre had 25 admissions in 2020, before being converted.

The rehab centre has 20 to 25 rooms, and was used to run vocational courses for drug addicts.

As per sources, past Kapurthala civil surgeons and a former Kapurthala DC, among other officials, had earlier raised concerns over the demolition of the site which came up at a cost of 1.5 cr.

Kapurthala DC Vishesh Sarangal said, “Currently, no building is being demolished. It will be done after all site plans are approved.”

Dr Sandeep Bhola, the in-charge of the Kapurthala de-addiction centre said, “There is a one-to-two per cent prevalence of HIV among the drug users in Kapurthala. They are a potential risk group for HIV and their rehabilitation is one of the foundational facilities to fight drug abuse in the region. The proposed site of the Kapurthala Medical College has brought many hopes for the health care opportunities it will open up. However, we need adequate space for a drug rehabilitation facility, and hope provisions will be made for it in the new building.”

Dr Karamjit Singh, Nodal officer, Kapurthala Medical College, said, “The rehab centre is all set to be demolished for the construction of the Kapurthala Medical Hospital. The first floor of the present site of the drug de-addiction centre is being used as rehab centre, and can be used in future too. One of the floors in the upcoming buildings has also been spared to possibly house the rehab centre. It is an essential facility and we will ensure that its part of the new set up.”

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