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Opinion Punjab Drug Abuse Figures In UN Panel Debate

Vikram singh

Feb 24, 2005
NEW DELHI: Experts Wednesday warned of an impending AIDS catastrophe in a Punjab neighbourhood due to sharing of syringes by drug addicts, whom they described as as "time bombs" waiting to explode.

"Due to the use of a single syringe by drug abusers, the risk of an AIDS epidemic explosion has become quite real in Maqboolpura in Punjab," said Ajit Singh, a social activist from Punjab.

The chilling testimonials of drug abuse victims and experts were expressed in a panel discussion held in the UN office here on the eve of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The discussion was held to find solutions for the drug abuse problem which is destroying so many lives. "Our theme for this year's observance day is 'Think Health, Not Drugs'," Cristina Albertine, country representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

On Wednesday, the UNODC released an annual report on drug abuse globally called "The World Drug Report 2010" in Vienna.

More than any part of the country, the saddening stories from Maqboolpura, a neighbourhood in Amritsar district in Punjab took centerstage. It is also known as a "locality of widows".

Manveer Kaur, a resident of Maqboolpura and a drug abuse victim, expressed her anguish: "I lost my first husband to drugs and then was married to my younger brother in-law he too died of drug abuse. I have two little daughters and an old mother in-law, drugs destroyed my life and the lives of countless others in Punjab."

Experts in the discussion warned of the disastrous consequences of epidemics like AIDS, if drug abuse becomes a social activity.

"Places like Maqboolpura need more awareness and employment. Our Punjab was known as the land of five rivers now it will have a sixth river of blood of the drugs victims. We can not let this happen," said Amanpreet Singh, a youth from Maqboolpura.

Punjab drug abuse figures in UN panel debate @ www.punjabnewsline.com

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