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

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The state government in Punjab is relying on the use of alternate medication to tackle the menace of drug addiction. The government is providing 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 under the fire of the opposition which is blaming the government for doing little to curb the menace. The government has decided to launch a mega 100-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 100-day Big Bang programme will be launched to give a push to the anti-drug campaign. The top officials of the state government also decided to enhance the reach of the Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres in the hinterlands of the state.

What are Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) Centres?
The centres were opened by the government in the year 2017 as a one-stop place for the drug addicts. The centres provide a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone as a de-addiction medicine to the addicts who have registered at the centres. Drug addicts who are habitual consumers of opioid drugs, heroine, opium and poppy husk among others can register with the OOAT centres. The Congress party which defeated the BJP-Akali combine in the assembly elections had mentioned a solution to drug addiction in its election manifesto and the government launched the centres months after it was sworn in.

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