Gurdaspur District is situated on the border of two States, i.e. Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. The geographic location of the District makes it an important and only passage for all the drugs like opium, smack, heroin, etc, from every direction across the International, as well as, the Inter-state borders through this area. As such, the critical conditions make the District a soft target towards all kind of addictions affecting not only those who handle them for trafficking, but the easy and cheaper availability of the drugs, the addiction to such substances, lavishly prey upon the natives regardless of caste, creed, colour, sex, race, profession or education.

Drug Addiction is ruining our society and destroying the health of our citizens. It is a matter of serious concern that the youth particularly in rural areas are falling prey to the menace of Drug Addiction. Drug Abuse has destroyed the creative power of millions of youth. Therefore, there is a need to launch a mass awareness movement to keep our youth, children and society, to stay away from this dangerous trend. Keeping this thing in view, Red Cross Drug De-addiction Treatment-cum-Rehabilitation Centre, Gurdaspur, organises awareness camps in various places/ institutions of the District to spread the awareness about the ill effect of drug abuse. The ill effects of the intoxicants and other drugs are explained to the masses by the counsellors and other resource persons through lectures and debates. Setting up Exhibitions on such events also help the people/young students to understand how bad the situation of the addictions is in this area and what measures they could adopt to keep them away from the clutches of deadly addiction. A Compact Disc prepared by this Centre is also arranged to be watched by the audience, which depicts the horrible picture of youth of this area who have fallen prey to this modem Monster. Pamphlets, booklets and other literature is also distributed among the public as an other method to spread awareness towards this menace.

The Red Cross De-addiction Treatment-cum-Rehabilitation Centre, Gurdaspur, is now situated at Kahnuwan road near village Babehali, Gurdaspur. The Institution came into existence in November 1991 as Red Cross Drug Counselling Centre. In March 1993, it was promoted to Red Cross Drug De-addiction Centre, having the facility of 30-bedded hospital for Indoor treatment of the addicts, and the Outdoor Department to provide minor or fresh addicts to be treated at their home. In April 1999, the Centre was raised to 20-bedded hospital with added facility for the rehabilitation of the addicts, bearing the name the Centre is presently being known. The De-addiction Centre is being run with 90% grant-in-aid from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, and 10% of the total Expenditure is shared by Punjab State Red Cross Branch, Chandigarh.

The main functions of the Centre are as under:-

1.PREVENTION: - Activities such as Seminars, Lectures, Exhibitions, Rallies, Jhankis, etc, are undertaken towards awareness of this modem menace.

2.TREATMENT: - The patient is required to stay at the Centre accompanied by someone who can attend him in a better way for about 30 to 35 days, during which, he, along with getting medical attention for his physical with-drawl symptoms, also undergoes drastic counselling and Yoga exercises. The treatment and stay at the Centre is totally free of cost.

3.REHABILITATION: - Different type of activities are undertaken to rehabilitate the addicts to their normal life, such as teaching them ways and means to earn their livelihood through candle making, Bee keeping and any activity they prefer and for which they want to get loan from the Banks to start their own business. So far 26686 addicts have been rehabilitated and they are leading a normal drug-free life.

4.FOLLOW-UP: - Great importance is given to this since the relapse of the patients is common. The Centre is now taking a new shape to become one of the leading Centres in India. The wards are fixed with Air Conditioners. Outdoor games like cricket, Volleyball, Badminton, etc, and Indoor games are introduced as a part of their treatment. High power Generator is also fixed in the Centre to check unpredicted power-cuts and provide the clients a comfortable stay in the Hospital. The Clients at the time of their stay at the Centre are under supervision of highly trained and experienced staff, and looked after by one of the best Medical Specialist of the town. The facilities now provided at the Centre had almost doubled the flow of Indoor and Outdoor patients. From the time of inception, 33950 cases had been treated as Indoor and 68447 registered in the Out Patient Department.

Measures adopted by the Centre to promote/facilitate better services to the clients.

* By and by the Centre is briskly advancing forward to the success and become one of the leading Centre of the Nation, as well as. The Infrastructure of this 30-bedded Centre has been fully modernized.

* The Centre is fully air-conditioned, for the comfortable stay of the clients during the course of their treatment.

* Outdoor games like Cricket, Volley Ball, Badminton, etc, are made an important and compulsory part of the treatment, and Indoor games like Ludo, Chess, Cards, Badminton, Tug off war etc. as, reading News Papers/ Magazines, watching Television, etc, is encouraged, in order to keep the clients busy.

* To ensure provision of 24 hours electricity supply and dealing with the unpredictable power cuts, a high power Generator has been installed at the Centre.

* Facility of an Indoor Kitchen has also been provided a carefree stay of Indoor clients in the Centre during their course of Detoxification.

* All the records of the Centre have been computerized.

* Hot Coffee / Tea /Soup Vending Machine is also installed at the Centre to provide safe and fresh material to the clients protecting them from any untoward physical illness and to help them gain health along with total detoxification.

* The clients are being attended by one of the experienced and leading Medical Specialist of the day.

* All these facilities presently provided at the Centre have almost doubled the figures in registration at the Out Patient Department and Indoor admissions, as well.

* 67 Female addicts have been treated as Indoor clients.

* 12016 Awareness Camps have been organized in various villages/Institutions with the coordination of NGOs, local administration including police, etc, as results of which there is a great rush of clients seeking admission in the Centre.

* Under the Rehabilitation programme we have been able to provide employment to more than 3638 Youths in various professions after getting them loans from different Banks.

* A Multi-purpose Gym,well-equipped Laboratory, Cinema hall, Library room and meditation hall have been set up at this Centre for the benefits of the Clients.

* We have organised 941 job oriented job training camps in the centre for rehabilitation of addicts.

* Free food, medicines & accomodation for all clients during the treatment. They are also imparted vocational training in Computer Hardware, Software, Networking and Mobile repair & Mushroom/ Dhingri, Bee-Keeping, Fisheries & Candles etc. so as to curb occurence of relapse.

. . . . . . (Romesh Mahajan) Projetct Director,Red Cross Drug De-addiction Treatment-cum-Rehabilitation Centre, Kahnuwan Road, Gurdaspur, 143521, Phone: (0)01874210166. E-mail-redcross[dot]gurdaspur(at)gmail[dot]com, Website: www[dot]rcddc[dot]org