Dimapur April 18: Considering the menace of substance abuse and alcoholism in Kiphire district, the Department of Social Welfare Department in collaboration with ARK Foundation and DAPCU, Kiphire, organised a stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop on substance use — prevention and treatment — at the conference hall of Kiphire District Hospital on April 16.
A press release from the organisers informed that more than 40 stakeholders from various associations ranging from apex tribal hohos, churches, students, NGO partners, drug users, police and civil society organisations of the district attended the programme.
L Kipitong Sangtam, Vice President of USLP, said that NGOs and CSOs should generate concerns towards addressing the issue of addiction in the district. He stressed in the need to prevent the “further inflow” of drug habits to the villages and town areas.
Sangtam lamented that people are not giving their utmost effort towards following the OST programme. Therefore, he said that it is important to support the programme which will help the drug users.
Ketho Angami, in his PowerPoint presentation, shared an overview of drug addiction in the State and how addiction has vastly affected the health and the lives of drug users and the society.
He said that drug addiction is still a reality and Kiphire district is also still having a significant number of drug users. On this, he applaud the Social Welfare Department for the initiatives of conducting such programmes across the State and called for a concerted effort from all sections of the society.
On the nature of substance use, he stated that addiction is a disease as declared by the American Medical Association and the WHO in the year 1956 and 1958 respectively. Towards this, he remarked that treatment should be the approach towards helping the drug user, rather than looking at it as a criminal issue.
Litingse, a recovering drug user from Kiphire, shared his experience with drug abuse. According to him, his families, neighbourhood and his villagers used to discriminate him because of his habit. He shared his experience of going to rehab centres which were always followed by a relapse.
He was at the crossroads when he finally got himself registered in the OST programme way back 2013. He continued with his OST treatment for more than a year. Following this, he went for a fasting period of 96 days and since then he is leaving a clean and sober life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
(Page News Service)