Test, track, trace & treat | By Dr Asif Maqsood Butt

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Test, track, trace & treat


WHEN life turns to drug user, addict and substance abuser with assorted evils; leaving behind no point of return. almost in disoriented state lying on a road side or in front of a closed shop.

What a pity condition of a human being where he lost his sense present in a new world. What actually happens to these souls which turned ill and ultimately diseased; many years back when they were to be healthy and passing good days of their life.

They might have been doing well with their families with care and remained determined towards life goals. Certainly there must be so many untold, hidden stories; the pain and miseries faced by those who were once the ray of light; “now are as a dying souls”.

Dependent on rest of their family and some of them were deprived of their family status. What persuades them to indulge in these activities? which are slow poison for them and ultimately they are at dead end.

The craving effects of anything are called addiction, uncontrolled habit of using alcohol or other drugs. Substance use disorders are described as these disorders as a problematic pattern of use of intoxicating substances that leads to significant impairment and distress. Majority of drug users prefer working in those departments where they can make drugs availability easy.

Despite all wonderful and miracle efforts, there is no significant outcome, connectivity of government-private institutions, organizations and even society contribution need more efforts; the number of drug addicts are increasing each year. There are number of drug addicts and IV drug users from low socio class, Rehab steps are negligible.

The most common drugs used by university students are morphine, opium, cocaine, hashish and cannabis and the most common causes of students falling into drug abuse are social or family stress, exam-related anxiety, availability of drugs and the negative influence of drug-using friends or hostel fellows.

Waste Management needs proper disposal as majority injection drug users pick used syringes from it.

Replacing syringes with one time usable syringes required for country wide production for prohibition by Injection Drug users.

The different medical conditions are also significantly prevailing; associated with psychological disturbances but often this remains unaddressed.

Mental state examination tests by psychologists on periodic basis must be conducted in all sectors/departments to assess mental well-being and timely track, trace & treat the patients Find the missing million is another great challenge.

Health promotion and educational campaign regarding Addiction & HIV, Hepatitis B, C risk factor and preventive measures are very much needed countrywide throughout the year.

A countrywide survey must be initiated by all authorities along with urine drug test (UDT) and HIV screening of all students, workers, professional and labourers for test, track, trace & treat to make Pakistan healthy.

—The writer is Public Health Specialist Gold Medal Innovation.

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