Muchos de los centros privados de tratamiento de adicción a las drogas en la región del Punjab, en la India, se han convertido en un lugar de tortura física y mental.

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Many centres do not have separate rooms for women and the inmates are housed in a large room or halls.

That Punjab is in the grip of drug epidemic is well known, but how little the state administration cares about the issue becomes evident from the way the drug de-addiction centres are managed here. A survey has revealed that many of these centres have become a place for mental and physical torture in the name of de-addiction.

"A number of private drug de-addiction centres are violating norms and pursuing their own policies. There are no nurses and counsellors. These centres are rarely inspected by the authorities which add to the woes of inmates," he said. Some of the violations found during the study, conducted at three private and seven government centres, were confinement of people dependent on drugs for a period of six months or more, incidents of mental and physical torture, and abuse of human rights.

Relatives of those staying in such facilities have often complained about the 'inhuman treatment' meted out to their kin. The survival and success rate of these centres, sources said, is not beyond 20 per cent.

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