IMPHAL, August 31: The State health directorate will consider including Relaxone, an antidote of drug overdose in the essential life saving drugs list when the opportunity arrives for such consideration, said State epidemiologist Dr Sashikumar of the Directorate of health services, Government of Manipur.
He was speaking at the observation of the International Overdose Awareness Day under the theme ‘Rethink and Remenber’ which was organised by the Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE) at the Imphal Press Club today.
Dr Sashikumar said he become interested in the overdose issue after realising that people who abused drugs were being discriminated by people. Lives saving drugs of drug overdose are found at high prices in pharmacies; so, the issue has reached the State health department and we need to frame a good policy for the drugs, he added.
Some professionals from the medical fraternity sometimes consider the medical case of a drug overdosed person as a criminal issue and not a public issue, he said, adding people also discriminate against them as if they are criminals. Drug abusers are stigmatized by the society and drug overdose persons receive double times that stigma, he added.
Urging drug overdosed victim to remain vigilant and be aware about the life saving drugs against to be used in case of an overdose, he said if such awareness is extended widely then one day drug overdose will be eradicated and many precious lives will be saved.
RIMS casualty medical officer Dr Naresh said cases of drug overdose are increasing as the population of the State has also increased.
We need to spread the awareness to people about drug overdose for preventing the deaths of drug overdose persons, he added.
Some pharmacies sold the anti-dote to overdose, Relaxone at the maximum rate for profit only when the actual price is just Rs 75, Dr Naresh said, and people can’t get this antidote easily at its normal rate but is sold at 2000 or more.
CoNE president RK Nalinikanta said till date there has been no official data collected about cases of drug overdose and life saving drugs are found in health service centres. He narrated an incident in which an overdose person was treated like a criminal and a FIR was registered against him by the police instead of give aid to him.
Now the trend has changed in the last two-three years and the police have co-operated and save some overdose persons from road sides also, he added.