Rising death toll of drug abusers in Rajasthan
Rajasthan Jails see rising death toll of drug abusers – Drugs in Punjab? Rajasthan has been a hub for open selling of poppy-husk and with recent closure of licensed poppy husk vends more and more addicts are turning to black-market availability. Rajasthan border shared with Punjab has also seen rise in people getting sick due to missing daily dosage.
The single-doctor dispensary at the Hanumangarh district jail is not up to the job in dealing with withdrawal reactions. Withdrawal occurs when a person discontinues chronic use of opiates. And the body needs time to recover from the craving and reacts with symptoms like body ache, nausea, vomiting, cramps abdominal pain, diarrhoea.
“Pulse rate and heartbeat of the addicts shoot up and this could cause heart attack or kidney failure. Since most of the convicts are aged between 40 and 80 years, it is extremely hard for us to treat them with the minimal infrastructure that we have in the jail,” said the only doctor at the jail dispensary.
“Nine addicts have fallen ill since Monday and one of them, Bathinda-resident Baljit Singh, died on Monday at Bikaner’s PBM Hospital while undergoing treatment for drug withdrawal symptoms. They have been addicts for more than 30 years and have difficulty living without their daily dose of poppy husk,” said Hanumangarh’s deputy jailer Raj Mahendra Bishnoi said.
Jailer also mentioned that he has written to Health Department to organize de-addiction camps for the addicts, however there were currently no provisions for organizing de-addiction camps inside jails since there were a lot of security concerns.
Lack of proper amenities is expediting the deaths of inmates. “The jail has just one ambulance and we use it to transport convicts both to the town hospital and PBM Hospital in Bikaner if an inmate is critical ill. Moreover, the 10 beds in the town hospital are not sufficient for these 57 people,” said Bishnoi.
Rajasthan have had a huge market of poppy husk and was legalized up till 31st March 2016, upon the pressing of Punjab Government along with Rajasthan Government and private NGO’s it was closed but the effect of same is seen on masses. Drugs were being supplied from Rajasthan to Punjab in free flow and in spite of regular efforts and requests of state government no heed was paid. Ultimate price is being paid by the people of Punjab and state is now defamed for political gains.