More drug addict treatment and rehabilitation centres are needed at the earliest to facilitate those people who wish to give up drugs. The few existing private treatment centres are expensive and charge for Rs500 to Rs1000 daily.
Also, health experts say that majority of the existing treatment and rehabilitation facilities provide detoxification services only, particularly in the public sector health centres where no rehabilitation programmes exist.
They urged that rehabilitation programmes are extremely costly and demanded highly motivated health personnel to take care of these addicts in their particular circumstances. “To cater the needs of hundreds of thousands of heroin addicts alone is beyond the capacity of any single organization,” they said.
Although The Ministry of Narcotics Control has established Model Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centres (MATRC) at Quetta, Islamabad, Karachi and in Adiala Jail, more are needed to accommodate people who are willing to be treated.
An official said that the ministry also plans to establish treatment and rehabilitation centres, “A specially designed programme for street children will also be developed in the major cities, which will include outreach and residential treatment programmes,” he added.
He said that the capacity of the treatment and rehabilitation centres, functioning under the NGO umbrella will be enhanced through financial support and provision of experts with international assistance.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.