Heroin now runs in the family in #Punjab

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LUDHIANA: A young businessman from Ludhiana got the shock of his life when he realized that he was not the only one in the family addicted to heroin. His habit had spread to his wife and sister as well.

Doctors in Punjab say that this is not an isolated case. They are increasingly coming across instances where the drug habit has trickled down to more than one member of the family, sending alarm bells ringing among professionals working with addicts.

The young businessman kept his heroin at home, unaware that his wife and sister had started trying it in his absence. The two women got so used to it that when they did not get their daily high, withdrawal symptoms would leave them unnerved, leading bad fights in the family. It took the businessman some time but he soon realized that the women were addicted to his own addiction.

“I never thought my habit would destroy my family to this extent. I now want to get rid of the habit for the sake of my loved ones,” he told TOI on condition of anonymity. He is being treated with his sister and wife.

Professor and head of the department of psychiatry and drugs at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, doctor Arvind Sharma said even in districts like Faridkot there are many cases where young men and their girlfriends becoming heroin addicts.

“We are conducting a study in association with Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) on epidemiology of substance abuse in Punjab,” he said. “We have come across many cases where men and their wives becoming addicts. This problem has gripped the entire state,” said Sharma. The study is expected to be completed by 2016-end.

Dr Ajay Pal Sandhu, consultant psychiatrist at Fortis in Ludhiana, said that they treat around 2,000 addicts. For every 100 cases, around 30 are such where husband and wife are being treated together.

In one case, a businessman was caught by his wife taking heroin. He convinced her that he was taking it in limited quantities to fight stress. Soon, she too tried out the stressbuster and ended up addicted to it.

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