On May 22nd Amritsar in Punjab will get a drug rehabilitation centre, which may not have made that much news, except that it caters only to women. It is significant in a state that has it’s name constantly attached to high rates of drug consumption and abuse. The rehab centre will be inaugurated by the State principal secretary of health, Vini Mahajan and the Guest of Honor for the inauguration ceremony would be Amritsar police commissioner, Amar Singh Chahal.
The rehab centre will be a separate wing of the already running family rehab home called ‘Hermitage. It will be able to accommodate 25 patients at a time and will have a staff of 15, which will include counsellors and the recovering members of the family rehab. The centre will be under the charge of Dr JPS Bhatia. Bhatia has come up with an exclusive programme for women- Women integrated Treatment (WIT).
“In the WIT programme, we will involve families of woman addicts. This rehab centre would be a residence for them. The arrangement is for 25 patients and they would be charged according to their addiction level; it can be nothing at all, or Rs 15,000 to 60,000 a month,” said Bhatia to The Hindu.
Bhatia stumbled upon this idea when he came across a case of a woman from Delhi’s one of the well known families who used to snort cocaine and consume other party drugs. He claimed that the girl was going crazy to lengths where she was ready to embarrass her family by stripping in public. Bhatia took it as a challenge and succeeded in turning the girl drug-free. He says that now she works as a teacher in Delhi.
The statistics of Punjab tell a grim story of drug abuse, with around 45-55% of the population reported to consume drugs. About one fourth of these people are women, who are generally from urban backgrounds and are married, but as little as five percent get treated in family rehab centre. In such a situation, the new rehab centre would be a welcome addition to fighting the menace of drugs.