Dimapur, July 31: ARK Foundation with support from the Department of Social Welfare in joint collaboration with St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Jakhama, Kohima, conducted two Webinars on “Workshop on Substance Abuse and Prevention” with teachers and “Substance Abuse, its Harmful effects and Prevention” with the Students of St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Jakhama, Kohima on July 30.
The webinars were moderated by Ketho Angami, President, ARK Foundation.
Dr. Fr. Sebastian Ousepparampil, Principal, and Dr.Fr. George Keduolhou Angami, Vice Principal, St. Joseph’s College (autonomous), Jakhama addressed the sessions by delivering opening remarks in both the session respectively.
In his remarks, Dr.Fr. Sebastian mentioned that addiction in Nagaland is a deep concern and acknowledged that drug addiction is still prevailing among the young population even today.
He said addiction in Nagaland started picking up from 1980 onwards. It is deep inside our homes, our cultures and day to day lives of the people, and it affects both the rich and the poor and therefore is a various serious concern.
Citing the Indian journal of public health report, he said that 49% of IDUs are around 30 years of age, which is the best age of a person.
He also cited a newspaper survey report which showed that 15-75 age groups of people are into alcohol and drugs in Nagaland and Manipur. While female population comprised of 5.2%, drug related school drop was 72.8 %, which was mostly among the unemployed group of population.
Vice Principal, Dr.Fr. George, in his remarks, mentioned that substance use results in negative impacts on the academics , physical, mental, peer groups, family and social consequences that can also lead to delinquencies.
He called upon the students to be ambassadors to deter other friends from getting introduced into such habits of substance use.
Ketho Angami, spoke on both the sessions as the resource persons
In his presentation, he defined the definition of substance use as “any substance when taken in turn modifies the person’s well being”. As a background, he shared that addiction in the state has resulted in loss of lives, and chaos in the society. That because of addiction, there is decrease in productivity, increase in school and college drop outs, loss of economy and the family is not at harmony because of the presence of a substance user with the family households.
He also defined “addiction” as a disease as termed by the American Medical Association in 1956 and by the WHO in 1958. It is a disease that is very complex in nature, progressive, relapsable yet treatable disease.
He shared his concerns as to how youths of today are starting the habit of being introduced to gateway drugs. He was of the opinion that this has to be intervened during this critical stage by creating such massive preventive awareness among the youngsters to deter them away from “gateway drugs”. Such practices include sniffing of dendrites, use of Tobacco and nicotine products, and other volatile solvents and that such introduction to these gateway drugs may result into forming a chronic dependency habit into harder drugs.
One of the drugs that is emerging as a grave concern, to which people are getting introduced is a drug called Yaba (WY- World is yours), and its consumption has been reported among the youth populations and also some who are already dependent into drugs, he stated.
On the management and prevention perspective, he mentioned that primary prevention is the “key”, that people should be made aware of the harmful effects of drug use and not to ever get introduced into substance use, and treatment through rehabilitation for those who are already in the addictive stage.
He concluded the presentation by mentioning some signs that can be observed in a person who is starting or into repeated drug use, and some tips to prevent the youngsters to keeping away from being introduced to the first “substance use” experience.
Gwabinlo Seb, Secretary, ARK foundation shared about his experience with substance use for more than a decade. According to him, he was born and brought within a Christian family. As a kid he was taught by his parents about the Christian values. During his school days, he was put in a hostel and he got introduced to various substance “gateway drugs” like tobacco. He use to mingle with his seniors and he gradually started using drugs most likely because of curiosity and peer pressure. Initially drugs were easily available but once he was hooked into the substance, he started to lie, steal, con in other to support his addiction. His shared how his life degraded and his health also deteriorated. (Page News Service)