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42% Punjab jail inmates test positive after government launches drug screening drive

The Punjab jail authority has started a major de-addiction and anti-drug trafficking drive inside the jails. 42 percent of prisoners were found to be drug users after screening of more than 8,000 prisoners in more than 14 jails and sub-jails.


1,972 inmates have tested positive as a result of the effort in the jails in Amritsar, Bathinda, and Gurdaspur. Awaiting results are also the drug tests that were performed in various other prisons. According to an initial sample, 42% of prisoners in jail are addicted to drugs and have been caught using morphine, tramadol, and buprenorphine.


Surprisingly, a significant portion of inmates who had no prior history of addiction also tested positive for substance misuse. In addition to Muktsar, Barnala Mansa, Nabha, and Roopnagar jails, screening of prisoners was also conducted in Nabha open jail, Patti, Fazilka, Moga, and Malerkotla Sub jails.


Surprisingly, during the drive, the correctional authorities did not find any drugs in the jails. In Amritsar, 900 out of 1900 (47%) were positive, as were 647 out of 1673 (38%) in Bathinda prison, and 425 out of 997 (42%) in Gurdaspur. The test results for over half of the prisoners in Barnala Jail were positive. This jail has 566 total inmates, 252 of them were discovered to be drug addicts.


The two-pronged effort to detect and cure addict inmates as well as identify jail staff members involved in drug trafficking in the jails has been initiated, according to Punjab Jail Minister Harjot Singh Bains.


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