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For drug-ridden Punjab, syringe ban a double-edged sword: Is there a fix?

On winning state assembly elections in March 2017, chief minister-designate Capt Amarinder Singh had claimed he would wipe out Punjab's drug problem "within four weeks".


Health experts have welcomed the Punjab government’s decision to reverse its recent ban on the sale of syringes without a prescription. The ban had been an attempt to control rampant drug abuse, but critics had said it would force addicts to reuse and share syringes, causing a spurt in hepatitis B and C and HIV infections, which are commonly transmitted among intravenous drug users. Public health advocates are now calling for the state to ensure all private and public health facilities adopt auto-disable (AD) syringes, which are fitted with safety plungers that break off after a single use–to ensure there is no reuse. The deputy commissioners of six districts of Punjab had on July 5, 2018, banned overthe-counter sales of syringes at chemist shops and pharmacies, as part of the state government’s renewed crackdown on the use of heroin and other injectable narcotics. In June 2018 alone, the media had reported 23 deaths from drug overdose in Punjab, placing pressure on the Congress-led state government to curb drug abuse, which had been one of its key election promises. On winning state assembly elections in March 2017, chief minister-designate Capt Amarinder Singh had claimed he would wipe out Punjab’s drug problem “within four weeks”. He had resolved to set up a task force to work directly under the chief minister’s office. “The STF will launch a crackdown against drug smugglers and small-time suppliers. Psychiatrists would be appointed in drug rehabilitation centres to provide treatment to addicts as they are only consumers,” he was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times on March 12, 2018.

For drug-ridden Punjab, syringe ban a double-edged sword: Is there a fix?  

For drug-ridden Punjab, syringe ban a double-edged sword: Is there a fix? on Business Standard. On winning state assembly elections in Marc...

For drug-ridden Punjab, syringe ban a double-edged sword: Is there a fix?  

For drug-ridden Punjab, syringe ban a double-edged sword: Is there a fix? on Business Standard. On winning state assembly elections in Marc...

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