Dimapur, July 2: ARK Foundation in collaboration with Social Welfare Department conducted a virtual seminar on ‘Substance use and addiction counseling’ with the various authorities and staffs of Juvenile Homes/Observation/Special Homes of the State comprising of Probation Officer, District Child Protection officers, Superintendents, and Counselors of various homes across the State.
The session was addressed by Raitele Zeliang, Program Officer, Child Protection Services, Nagaland. He expressed concern about the need to collectively address the issue of substance use in the State and with a focus on addressing the needs of the children who are in conflict with the law as a result of drug use.
Ketho Angami, president, ARK foundation gave a general background of the history of drug addiction in the State. In the context of early intervention, he lamented that young adolescents are being introduced into drugs at a very early stage when they are in their high schools. Such introduction usually starts with gateway drugs such as sniffing dendrites and other volatile solvents, chewing of tobacco and other nicotine products and then gradually indulging in harder drugs like Opiod and sedative drugs. This progression to the dependency stage results in a situation where they come in conflict with the law and ends in distress, he said.
Lozua Kape, Prodigals Home spoke on ‘Addiction Counseling’. He mentioned that young children are seen coming into maximum use of weed (Ganja), alcohol, tobacco and dendrites. While some of them are street children, there are also children from well to do families.
Stating that counseling and cognitive behavioural therapy plays a very important role, he said counseling rebuilds them, rebuild their well being such as mental stress and depression and also enable them to cope with their day to day lives in all aspects of their social lives.
The seminar concluded with key recommendations on the need to have a specific children rehab centre, setting up of a children and their family counseling centre, to conduct such similar programs to empower the Department and NGOs with knowledge on “substance use”, to explore on the possibilities with health department to providing a minimal dose of Buprenorphine during their acute withdrawal.
The webinar ended with a round of questions and answers and further deliberation on further action plans. (Page News Service)