The number of drug addicted people in Bangladesh is almost 7 million, but there are only 220 doctors for them, said National Institute of Mental Health assistant professor Mekhala Sarkar at a discussion meeting in the institute on Wednesday, Agencies report.
The National Institute of Mental Health and Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists (BAP) jointly organised the discussion meeting to observe ‘International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’ in Bangladesh.
The NDD Protection Trust chairperson of Social Welfare Department Golam Robbani said the Home Ministry is approving rehabilitation centres one after the other, but the centres are becoming rendezvous for criminals. The centres must run under the health ministry, otherwise the outcome will be disastrous.
Health department director general Abul Kalam Azad said it is normal that the home ministry take responsibility of drug control, but it is also important that the health ministry monitor the treatment a patient receives at any rehabilitation centre.
A number of discussants demanded the health ministry provide the licenses to drug rehabilitation centres instead of home ministry.
Assistant professor of the National Institute of Mental Health Helal Uddin Ahmed said “Only counseling is not enough for drug addicts, they need medicines too and people must understand that. There is also a perception that cigarettes are not a part of drug habits, but that is not true.”