Dimapur, September 13: The ARK Foundation in collaboration with Tetso College Dimapur, through the support from the Department of Social Welfare conducted a webinar on “Sensitization workshop on substance abuse in Nagaland” with the faculty members of the college on September 11. The program was held through a virtual connection by the various speakers, and was moderated by Dr. Aniruddha Babar.
Opening the program, the moderator shared his concerns about young people getting into nicotine and tobacco use which gradually results in indulgence into harder drugs and more severe drugs in the following years.
Dr. Hewasa Lorin, Vice Principal, Tetso College, in her opening remarks, stated that substance abuse is a sad reality which is widely prevailing in the Naga society She said youths are our future, and that they need to be protected from this, by giving them the right guidance and advice, with an eco balance to propel the youth to make correct choices. But striking this balance is the main challenge. And therefore it has become increasingly important the educators, to work together to reduce, curb, and hope to completely eradicate substance abuse.
She also lamented that Nagaland has a high proportion of drug users, and mostly it’s the youths of today. To this, she said it is important to divert their energy in healthier and productive lifestyles such as education, sports, arts, church and in other activities and fields, where they are interested in, by giving them more opportunities for these avenues.
Abou Mere, NE Regional Director, Kripa Foundation, in his exhortation mentioned about the importance of preventing substance use and its disorder among young population as very crucial. According to him, the teachers have a great influence over the students and therefore should present facts about substance use and help them make informed healthy choice.
K. Wango Langsym, Assistant Director, Social Welfare Department, in his exhortation mentioned about some of the initiatives taken up by the department along with various NGOs to spread awareness about the negative impact of substance abuse in the society. He was of the opinion that educational institutions should be a place for students to find solutions to their problems faced in their lives, and a place where future generation are groomed and prepared.
He put forth points such as the need for reputed institutions to be putting mechanisms in place whereby if such problems of substance abuse are reported, the institution can deal with it in a very professional manner and extends all possible help to any students, who is in need of counseling. This mechanism if put in place will set a good precedent for other institutions as well. He also shared called upon reputed institutions to be collaborating with the department to generate awareness through difference platforms. In his final point, he shared his concern to have a proper data on the number of drug users and to which research on this will generate such a data for program planning.
In his concluding remarks, he expressed his optimism that the program will beneficial to all and such continued effort of spreading awareness will reach to every nook and corner of the state.
On September 12, the Foundation in collaboration with Tetso College, with support from the department of Social welfare conducted a Webinar on “awareness on substance abuse and prevention” with the students of the College.
Ketho Angami, ARK foundation, delivered on the topic “Substance abuse and prevention”. In his presentation, he shared that addiction in the state, has resulted in loss of lives and has created a social menace in the larger society and has existed in Nagaland since more than 4 decades. But the worrisome is that, off late the trend of the substance use is gaining popularity among the youth populations and the incidence is ever increasing. He urged the students to be aware of the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol use and never to initiate the first use but to rather focus on their educational careers and other productive activities rather than resorting to experimenting with Substance use.
Ilato, shared his life experience on his struggle with drug addiction and how his life was remained unmanageable for several years. During the initial period, he started with use of nicotine and tobacco products out of sheer curiosity. He admitted that he did not really like his first experience with drugs but he continued it anyway and on an occasional basis and finally he became dependent. After reaching the level of dependency, he started having numerous problems, both physically and mentally, and with a lot of character defects.
In his conclusion, he urged the youngsters of today’s generation to never experience on any substance including alcohol, as it is very easy to get into the habit but very difficult to get quit of it. (Page News Service)