Drug addicts in city jails get no rehab or detox.
Often the accused in narcotics cases are suddenly deprived of their drugs in prison and as a result they experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
Both Chanchalaguda and Cherlapally jails in the city, unlike Tihar Jail, are not equipped with a de-addiction centre where drug addicts can be weaned off their ‘habits’ gradually.
Nor do jail officials have any set medical procedure for them.
According to city police, around 30 drug peddlers-cum-drug addicts arrested in cocaine cases in the past three months, including Dr Siddharth, who was nabbed by the Langar Houz police a few days ago, are lodged in Chanchalaguda jail.
Some of these accused are managing to get their ganja supplies in jail and there have been recurrent instances of the ‘grass’ being detected while being smuggled into the prisons, sources said.
The prisons department additional inspector-general Mr B. Sunil Kumar, says, “Drug addicts are treated on par with other prisoners. In serious cases, we give them psychiatric help.”
Experts say that this is not enough and a proper prison rehabilitation programme of drug addicts needs to be set in place to bring them out of their drug dependence.
Alternatively, they need to be sent to a treatment facility. Mr K.M. Santosh, the therapeutic co-ordinator of a city-based de-addiction centre says, “Drug addicts, when jailed, suffer physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. If these are not managed medically they could be life-threatening. They may have been on drugs for several years and to stop this abruptly can be dangerous.” Deccan Chronicle