Dimapur, March 6: Dimapur Deputy Commissioner, Kevekha Kevin Zehol today disclosed that there has been rapid increase in consumption of alcohol in Nagaland and more than 1.7% youths are under the influence of alcohol, besides around 34,888 people involved in intravenous drug use.
Speaking at the consultation workshop on ‘Illicit Drugs & Alcohol: Trends, Usage, and Treatment’ at Excise Commissioner’s Conference Hall, Dimapur, organized jointly by Prodigal’s Home and Excise Department, the Deputy Commissioner encouraged all to come forward to change the situation.
” It is high time that the blame game should be stopped for the betterment of the society. Let us not be a part of the problem, but let us be a part of the solution,” he said.
He also asked everyone, including NGOs, Churches and administrative agencies to come together to tackle the problem.
Talking about ‘drug trafficking routes and classification of available drugs and alcohol in Nagaland’, Deputy Commissioner of Excise, S Chanlei Angh said it is because of Nagaland’s close proximity with the ‘Golden Triangle’. It is used as a transit route by the drug traffickers and the main entry point of the narcotic drugs to Nagaland is from Manipur through National Highway 39, he added.
“The porous border with Manipur, Assam and Mayanmar has made the job very difficult,” he said and mentioned Lahorijan, Balijan-LRC-Lingrijan, Kota-Mill, Merapani, Mariani, Amguri, Naginimora, Tizit, Sonari, Namtola as the entry points for liquor.
Talking about laws and policing methods to curb the supply and demand of alcohol and drugs and its challenges, ADCP (Crime), Relo T Aye NPS said that restraining the menace cannot be done by the police alone and other stakeholders need to join hands. Cases related to liquor in the state is double comparing to the other illicit substances, he added.
He said while demand and supply are two aspects of the problem, the focus are primarily given to supply and containing the supply of liquor in the state is difficult due to the extremely porous border with Assam where alcohol is readily available.
The drugs and other substances mainly enter through Myanmar border, he said, adding there is an alarming trend of Nagas getting arrested in drug related activities in other countries.
He also opined that the NLTP Act should be seriously reviewed as it has become one of the most debated Acts. He disclosed that in the year 2018 alone more than 125 people were arrested relating to liquor and more than one lakh bottles were seized.
Pastor of Nagamese Baptist Church, Kevijau Colony, Dimapur who also spoke on the occasion said that it is a general conception that churches don’t do much when it comes to these issues while the churches are doing much and added that it is only possible to take horses to the waters but one cannot make the horses drink.
He agreed that to handle issues related to liquor and drug abuse, the churches need addiction specialists which the churches do not have and therefore the churches are certainly ill-equipped. He asked everyone to put their ideas therefore together.
During the workshop, special songs were also presented by Bethesda Rehab Centre and Life Challenge Rehab Centre. (Page News Service)