Law enforcing personnel sensitised on substance use
Dimapur, Feb. 28 (EMN): As part of the national campaign towards a ‘Drug-free India,’ ARK Foundation organised a seminar on ‘Substance use- its ill effects and treatment’ at Police Reserve Camp, Phesama, on February 27. The seminar was organised in collaboration with the Kohima district administration, district Social Welfare, and Police departments.
In a keynote address, Inspector Akum shared concerns posed by the menace of drug addiction in the country and the state of Nagaland. He mentioned that alcohol use in the country was rampant with 1 out of every 7 Indians having used alcohol, an update from ARK Foundation stated.
The main speaker and president of ARK Foundation, Ketho Angami, shared how substance abuse has affected the Naga society at large. While presenting an overview of drug addiction in Nagaland spanning four decades, he stated drug addiction has vastly affected the health and the lives of drug users and the society at large. He added that there are new cases of people being introduced to drugs.
He stated that addiction was declared as a disease by the American Medical Association and the WHO in the year 1956 and 1958 respectively. He, therefore, stated that the approach for treatment should be helping the drug user rather than denouncing them as criminals which is liable for prosecution.
In conclusion, he stressed on the need to work on primary prevention and also provide opportunity to the people who are already into the habit to seek treatment and come to recovery, adding recovery from drug addiction is possible. He further advised young upcoming police personnel to stay away from drugs including alcohol. He also sought the support from the police department to enforce the NDPS Act 1985 of the Section 64A, which provides immunity from prosecution if an accused voluntarily seeks complete treatment rather than only penalising drug users as per section 27.
It also stated that Ilato shared his struggle with drug addiction and how his life remained unmanageable for several years. Ilato disclosed that he started drug use when he was at a very young age of 13 years particularly nicotine and tobacco products out of sheer curiosity. He admitted that he did not really like his first experience with drugs but continued on an occasional basis till he finally became dependent on those substances. He also admitted that there was never a day of peace and happiness in his addictive lives and also landed in conflicts with police and other stakeholders.
It was through the support of some recovering friends that he could come to recover. In conclusion, he advised all the youngsters including the police personnel to never experience any substance including alcohol saying “it is very easy to get into the habit but very difficult to get quit of it.”