Chandigarh: In order to check drug-addiction in the state of Punjab, a number of deputy commissioners have issued orders banning the sale of syringes without a prescription by a certified doctor.
Orders have been issued in Mohali, Fazilka, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ludhiana and Ferozepur districts so far.
On being asked what led to ban on syringes, Mohali DC Gurpreet Kaur Sapra said, “It was brought to my notice that drug addicts are using syringes to take drugs and these syringes are openly available at various chemist shops. But now no chemist will be allowed to sell syringes in bulk or in small numbers unless the buyer doesn’t provide any prescription.”
Sapra said that other than pharmacies, even small departmental stores in villages have small amount of syringes.
“From now onwards even they are not allowed to sell or keep those syringes. Billing is also must for every product that chemists will sell. Strict action will be taken against the ones who will be found not abiding by the orders,” said Sapra.
Sapra also plans to focus more on community outreach. She informed that along with the Senior Superintendent of Police, she will visit a village every week to reach out to the public at large.
Sapra further advised parents to spend more time with their kids.
“Please reach out to the nearest rehab centre and hospital and get yourself treated. Even parents need to spend more time with children. Spending more time with your young children might make them share their problems with you,” said Sapra.
A number of associations of chemists and druggists have welcomed the move but urged for protection against harassment by the police.
Isha Kalia, deputy commissioner, Fazilka, said, “The decision to issue these orders has been taken by some deputy commissioners at their own level. Hence, we have also issued them. Syringes are being misused widely leading to loss of lives.”
It needs to be pointed out that addicts go to the level of reusing syringes and even picking them up from garbage dumps.