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Post crackdown, addicts flock to opioid centres in Tarn Taran 

Tarn Taran, September 3

Till May 1, Tarn Taran had only 627 registered drug addicts. The number of those undergoing treatment at various centres has risen to over 9,589. Of these, 6,393 are registered with government-run Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) centres and remaining with three private centres.

A total of 1,025 new addicts reported at these centres from August 1 to 26. On an average, 40 new ones are coming to treatment centres every day. On the 15-fold increase in the number of addicts at treatment centres, Deputy Commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said, “We feel that the real change came when we started a crackdown on quacks and medicine shops in rural areas.” 

He said a big challenge would be to motivate those who have still not come out. At the same time the administration had initiated a plan to revive sports culture in rural areas. For the purpose, the entire district had been divided into 164 clusters and each cluster was supervised by a separate official from any of the government departments, he said.

“Earlier, these villages had a culture in which sports activity was very much a part of their life. But now nobody is seen playing any games. Our objective is to revive that culture,” said Sabharwal. He said after villages, competitions would be organised at block and district level.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Rishi, said: “Most cluster incharges are so dedicated that they have even spent money from their pockets to provide sports equipment to children.”

“Every senior officer, including the Deputy Commissioner, attends two to three such events daily to motivate residents and make a direct contact with them,” Rishi added.

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