Mirabai for rehab of drug users

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IMPHAL, June 26:  State Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai has appealed for rehabilitation of drug users in the state.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on the theme “Think Health, Not Drugs” was observed across the state on Tuesday with the main function organizing at Bal Bhavan premises in Khuman Lampak Sports Complex here.

The event which was organized by Social Welfare Department, government of Manipur, was attended by AK Mirabai, Minister, Social Welfare, M Prithiviraj, MLA, Moirang constituency, RK Noyonsana, Chairman, Social Welfare Department and Dr L Ibetombi Devi, chairperson, Manipur State Commission for Women as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

In his keynote address, Lithkhogen Haokip, Commissioner, Social Welfare Department, said drug and alcohol abuse has been quite a social norm in every part of the world today and ultimately the UN taking serious note on the issue first started to observe the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking since 1989.

Haokip said that different mechanism being taken up to undertake the menace of drug abuse by various NGOs and the government agencies in the state are not all right at present as the rate of drug users is now alarmingly increasing in the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Social Welfare Minister, AK Mirabai said   the main objective of the observance of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is to make all out effort for eradication of drug abusers and illicit drug traffickers.

She remarked the day is being observed with a big question on the probability of solving the problem of drug abuse which is increasing day by day in the state.

Miraibai also suggested that proper steps should be taken up to rehabilitate all the drug users in the state and to show them the way to normal life.

It is also necessary to review the works taken up by the concerned government agencies as well as the NGOs with regard to eradication and rehabilitation programmes for drug users, insisting that the NGOs are the guardians of drug users.

All the members both from the government and NGOs should meet and interact together once in a month to discuss about their basic requirements, Miraibai suggested. 

The minister also assured that the Social Welfare Department will consider initiating a state drug policy and that those children at the ICDS and the widow survivors will be provided benefits under certain beneficiary schemes.

The state government is also looking for practical suggestions and views from all the experts in dealing with the problem of drug abuse as there is an interdependent relationship between the government and the public in solving every problem.

The day was also observed at the Multipurpose Hall, Senapati organized by district police.

In her inaugural address, Pushpanjali, IPS, Superintendant of Police, Senapati district, said in Manipur, where a considerable population of young brigade has lost its energy, strength and power to drugs and psychotropic substance, there is utmost need to organize such events in a mass scale. 

Today`s programme has been organized with the same spirit to provide a common platform for all the stakeholders to come together and collaborate to control drug abuse, the SP said.

She said compulsive, excessive and self-damaging use of habit forming drugs or substances leading to addiction or dependence, strains physiological injury (such as damage to kidneys, liver, heart) and other psychological harm (such as dysfunctional behavior patterns, hallucinations, memory loss) as death is called substance abuse.

Some of the common drug abuse includes alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, heroine, cannabis, opium etc, Pushpanjali noted.  

She also said as we all are aware that drug addiction causes immense human distress and the illegal production and distribution of drugs have spawned crime and violence worldwide. Today, there is no part of the world, which is free from this menace.

The picture is grim if the world statistics on the drug scenario is taken into account. With a turnover of around $ 500 billions, it is the third largest business in the world, next to petroleum and arms trade. Illegal Drug Trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacturing distribution and sale of drugs, she added.

She added, though drug trafficking in many countries involves major penalty even death penalty in some countries, it remains a menace, because trading in banned drugs remains highly lucrative. However, due to its illicit nature, statistics about profits from the drug trade are largely unknown.

India too is caught in this vicious circle of drug abuse, and the numbers of drug addicts are increasing day by day. Due to its location between two major illicit opium producing centers in Asia – Golden Crescent and Golden Triangle, India experiences large amount of drug trafficking through the borders and it has become a transshipment point. Cannabis, heroin and Indian produced pharmaceutical drugs are the most frequently abused drugs in India, the SP further added. 

She said it is a common feature in northeast India that the earning of money is quickly reflected in the apparent consumption patterns of the people. More dangerously, it has also reflected in the behavior of the youth who have very limited entertainment options in the region. And one very fashionable way is to resort to expensive narcotics.

Drug abuse in a society not only ruins life of an individual, a family but also it ruins the image of a society beyond measures. drug abuse creates mental, familial, social, occupational, financial, and legal consequences, she asserted. 

She said the illicit drug trade is a highly sophisticated operation with clearly defined interests, strategies and aims with a unified power structure, and with total control over the whole process including a complex chain of small businesses.

Various laws have been enacted to control drug abuse and illicit Trafficking like the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 which was enacted with stringent provisions to curb this menace, she mentioned.

AK Sinha, IPS (Zone-III), Manipur said the Spasmo Proxyvon (SP) which is used by the youth as the most favourite drug is produced as a medicine item in India in large quantity and that there is need to tackle such drug abuse collectively.

Bunii Simon, District Project Officer, Nehru Yuva Kendra who was also speaking at the event pointed out that there are 119 million drug addicts across the globe out of which 1 million of them live in India alone.

He also appealed to all the drug users to wake up and take part in the making of future.

As part of the observance a speech competition and another quiz competition were also organized.

Dr. Simpson Sareo CMO Senapati, L. Thangkhulun Kuki, District Social Welfare Officer Senapati, Basanta of Divine Life De- addiction Center Imphal, members of civil society among others also took part at the event.

In Thoubal district, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking was also organized at the auditorium of New Public Higher Secondary School under the aegis of Nehru Yuva Kendra, Thoubal of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India.

The day was also observed at 69 BN CRPF stationed at Mantripukhri here.

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