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Long-term addicts go for injectable drugs

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HUGE HAUL: Narcotic drugs seized near Chennai recently. Despite regular crackdown, injectable drugs make their way into Chennai through Andhra Pradesh.
HUGE HAUL: Narcotic drugs seized near Chennai recently. Despite regular crackdown, injectable drugs make their way into Chennai through Andhra Pradesh.

R. Sujatha

NGOs urged to take up awareness programmes in schools, colleges

CHENNAI: New drug users seek brown sugar (adulterated heroin) but long-term addicts continue to use tidigesics (injectables such as pethedine or buprenorphine that are used as pain killers), according to non-governmental organisations. Substances most commonly abused are ganja (Cannabis), cocaine, allergens and sleeping pills Synthetic drugs are yet to enter the Indian market.

Regular crackdown by the Narcotics Intelligence Bureau and the Narcotics Control Bureau hinders sale of tidigesics in the city. But pushers procure them from the suburbs or Andhra Pradesh border, says S. Paul Nilavan, managing trustee of Royapuram-based Addres Centre, working with drug abusers in north Chennai area since 1995.

"We monitor the activities of the addicts and provide them new syringes. This encourages health-seeking behaviour."

V. Thirumagal, resource person in TTK that handles abusers in south Chennai says old addicts seeking injectables create health problems such as HIV infection.

N. Kamini, additional deputy superintendent of police with NIB-CID, says ganja is a problem in the State. A. Arumugam, superintendent of police, NIB-CID, wanted NGOs to take up programmes in schools and colleges and more advocacy meets for the police.

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