DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 28: As part of the national campaign towards a drug-free india, ARK Foundation, in collaboration with the Kohima district administration, district Social Welfare and Police department, organised a seminar on substance use at the police reserve camp, Phesama on February 27.
The programme was initiated as part of the Kohima Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
The seminar started with Akum, inspector (SM), sharing concerns over the menace of drug addiction in the country and the State. He shared about a report of an assessment which indicated that alcohol use in the country is rampant, with 1 out of every 7 Indians having used alcohol.
The main speaker of the seminar, Ketho Angami highlighted the major concerns of substance abuse in the State and how it has affected the Naga society at large. He gave an overview of drug addiction in Nagaland, and maintained that drug addiction has vastly affected the health and the lives of the drug users, and the society at large.
Even today, drug addiction is a reality that poses a threat to the young and vulnerable section of the society, he said.
Ketho said that treatment should be the approach towards helping the drug user, rather than looking at it as a criminal issue which is liable for prosecution. Further, he said that there are various reasons why people use drugs, including peer pressure, curiosity, easy availability etc and when the peak period of addiction begins, it results in harms such as health, occupational, financial, spiritual, and legal harms.
He stressed on the need to work on primary prevention and provide opportunity to the people who are already into the habit to seek treatment and come to recovery, since recovery from drug addiction is possible.
He also urged the young police personnel to stay away from drugs including alcohol, as alcohol is also a drug of serious health and socio-economic implications. He also sought support from the Police department to enforce the NDPS act 1985 of the Section 64A, which provides immunity from prosecution if accused voluntarily seeks and complete treatment.
Ilato, shared his experience of struggle with drug addiction. He started his drug use when he was at a very young age of 13, 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 continued it anyway only to become dependent later on.
After reaching the level of dependency, he started having numerous problems, both physical and mental, and experienced drug overdose on four occasions. His life had revolved around stealing, lying and manipulating others, and peddling drugs in order to support his addiction, he shared.
But in the past years, some of his recovering friends stood by his side and supported him to come to recover. He advised all the youngsters, including the police personnel, to never experience any substance use, including alcohol.
Following this, a round of open discussion and question session was held where queries on overdose, detoxification, and treatment were clarified.
(Page News Service)