In view of increasing substance use in Himachal Pradesh, the HP Mental Health Authority proposes to set up one model deaddiction and rehabilitation centre in Mandi. The hill state currently has 70 Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUD) Centres in HP and majority of them are in the private sector, which are registered by the Authority and are monitored too. Sources said many of them are running with deficiencies, which are already in notice of the Authority.

“I am not convinced that the SUDs run in the private sector are giving standard services. Recently, three Centres were cancelled after our teams found glaring gaps in them,” said Dr Sanjay Pathak, Chief Executive Officer of the Himachal Pradesh Mental Health Authority.

“Unfortunately, we do not have comprehensive service for de-addiction and rehabilitation in the government. The medical colleges have services for detox, but the concept of Whole Person Recovery (WPR) is not there. The purpose is not to just detox but integrate the person in society,” Dr Pathak added.

He said the Authority is working on the model deaddiction and rehabilitation centre, for which Rs 30 lakh has been allocated from the state budget.

“Ultimately, we will establish two model de-addiction and rehabilitation Centres, one for men and another for the women, to meet the standards for WPR. We will work on standard manpower, space, facilities and record keeping in these Centres, so that others can follow that. However for this we require a budget of Rs 1.38 crore,” he said.

Dr Pathak, who is a behaviourist with keen interest in psychology and psychiatry and is currently Senior Medical Superintendent at Himachal Hospital of Mental Health and Rehabilitation, however, said the primary focus should also be on preventing drug use, which is a challenge to the whole society and will finally lead to criminalization, irresponsible parenting and change in the personality traits in generations to come.