Help at last: NGO opens drug rehab centre in Landhi

Published: February 17, 2012
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'If a relapse occurs, which is not uncommon, then the person is brought back for treatment' PHOTO:AFP

'If a relapse occurs, which is not uncommon, then the person is brought back for treatment' PHOTO:AFP

KARACHI: The Drug Free Pakistan Foundation (DFPF), an NGO fighting drug abuse and for the welfare of drug addicts, has launched a new rehabilitation centre.

The Shaheed Naveed Younus Centre, named after the NGO’s late founder, is located in sector 36-C of Landhi and will start operating later this month.

According to DFPF coordinator Eahtisham Zafar, the Shaheed Younus centre was established as a result of a MoU signed by DFPF and the former mayor Karachi, Mustafa Kamal, in 2009. As a result 50 acres near the Super Highway were allotted for the drug rehabilitation programmes. Zafar told The Express Tribune that the centre is spread over two acres and has a covered area of almost 900 square yards. It currently has a capacity of 50 beds, but its administrators hope to enlarge it to 200 beds.

Fayyaz Ahmad, house in-charge at New Horizons Care Centre (NHCC), the first centre established by DFPF, said that patients are treated at various levels, depending on the symptoms they originally present. “They initially experience withdrawal symptoms, followed by detoxification and are finally discharged. But if a relapse occurs, which is not uncommon, then the person is brought back for treatment,” he said.

While referring to various success stories, he said that all DFPF centres are run by recovering drug users. NHCC garnered international publicity after its first year of operation, as the Colombo Plan, a regional organisation that works for human development in the Asia-Pacific region, announced that it had the best recovery rate for addicts in Asia.

Zafar said that almost 41,500 addicts have been treated at these centres so far, adding that if relapses are taken into account, then that number jumps up to more than 0.1 million patients.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2012.

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