‘Indian de-addiction centres lack proper facilities’

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) Around 70 percent of de-addiction centres in India do not have the standard treatment and care facilities leading to chances of relapse among the drug addicts, health experts said on Tuesday.

They said that most of the centres don’t follow norms and are not trained to handle a lot of medical and mental needs of the patients during the treatment process.

“It is difficult to cure patients without meeting certain criteria which are set by the authorities. Often patients are admitted to de-addiction centres for treatment but find no proper cure and rather relapse and their condition deteriorates. So it is essential to check whether the centre meets all the criteria,” said Gorav Gupta, a psychiatrist and currently director of Tulasi Health Care at Mehrauli in Delhi.

Noting that most of the better centres use a combination of several medical and therapeutic processes, he said that many centres in India are not even able to avail the latest medicines meant for speeding up the treatment process.

“The medical science is evolving and new techniques like ultra rapid detox, where the patient is detoxed in 48 to 72 hours are being used. Many new medicines for craving and withdrawal are being used such as naltrexone, topimerate and acamprol. However at least 50 percent of the centres are hardly able to avail the drugs due to lack of resources,” he told IANS.

Behram Pardiwala, consultant of Internal Medicine at Mumbai’s Wockhardt Hospital, said that in the last four to five years there has been a significant increase in the number of people addicted to various substances due to their easy availability and social acceptance.

He also said that the other reason why Indian de-addiction centres were far behind those of western nations was that the focus was more on medicines rather than psychological treatment, which is considered to be more effective.

“Also the lack of proper infrastructure with lack of trained volunteers is hindering the proper treatment of drug addicts,” he said adding that usually Indian de-addiction centres do not even follow basic procedures like counselling, mental exercises and psycho therapeutic treatment.

Mohan Surjewala, senior psychiatric consultant at Kolkata-based Down Town hospital, said that only 25 percent of the addicts admitted to the de-addiction centres in India are successfully treated. In most other cases the patients mostly remain in the same condition or even deteriorate.

“More and more people see it now as a disease not as a moral failing. It affects the brain adversely and can also result in precipitation of various mental diseases like anxiety ,depression, mood swings etc,” he said.

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