Prescribed Drugs Among Most Common Forms Of Drug Misuse, Says Nagaland Official - Eastern Mirror
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Prescribed drugs among most common forms of drug misuse, says Nagaland Official

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Jun 08, 2024 12:14 am
Invitees, organisers and others during the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking programme on Friday.

DIMAPUR — Stating that prescribed drugs are among the most common forms of drug misuse, Lutovi Phucho, Drugs Control Officer of Dimapur’s Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD), urged people to strictly follow doctor’s prescriptions for medication, while warning that some prescribed drugs, particularly painkillers and cough syrups, can be habit-forming and lead to addiction.

He said that at the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking programme on Friday at the Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA), Prodigals’ Home (PH), Dimapur.

The event, jointly organised by the Social Welfare department and Prodigals’ Home, commemorated the occasion days ahead of the actual date, June 26, due to the upcoming elections to the urban local bodies in the state.

Phucho pointed out that people often start using them in larger quantities than prescribed. Therefore, many medicines are not available over-the-counter and require a doctor’s prescription, he added.

He further shared that NCORD Dimapur aims to collaborate with stakeholders to combat the drug menace, emphasising that the committee’s objective is to help drug users, not punish them.

The officer stressed that drugs, originally manufactured for beneficial purposes, are often misused and abused, leading to both physical and psychological dependence. He also outlined the various causes of substance abuse, including genetic predisposition, learned behaviour, and environmental factors.

Further, he urged addicts in rehabilitation centres to be determined in their recovery efforts and to resist peer pressure from former drug-using friends. He also advised the drug abusers to be cautious in using substances at home or in social settings to prevent influencing young children and potential imitation.

He concluded his remarks by highlighting the need for increased investment in prevention efforts and suggested that education on the harmful effects of drugs should be implemented in schools, churches, communities, and various institutions.

Y Shikato Jimo, Senior Welfare Inspector of the District Welfare Office, Dimapur, echoed Phucho’s concerns, noting that many drug users face stigma and discrimination, which can further harm their physical and mental health and prevent them from accessing the help they need.

He advocated for raising awareness among children and youth about the risks of drug addiction and the importance of preventing drug-related crimes. He also encouraged youth to embrace healthier lifestyles by engaging in activities and educational programmes that offer alternatives to drug use.

Anna Hairang Thou, a social activist, shared her experience from working with drug users, highlighting the pervasive stigma and discrimination they face, preventing them from fully utilising available services.

Meanwhile, T Meren Jamir, a residential counsellor at IRCA PH, lamented opinions on preventing drug use being expressed by many without concrete action plans. Noting that Nagaland is a literate state, he said subjects related to drug prevention, addiction consequences, and drug abuse should be included in the education system but it’s still not done.

He went on to say that churches, despite having many intellectuals, lack the foresight in incorporating drug awareness into Sunday school programmes, and instead, “wait for the kid to grow up and start abusing drugs and then only receive treatment”.

He asserted that all stakeholders should come together to tackle the issue by understanding the perspectives of addicts, who are primarily concerned with obtaining their next dose rather than parental concerns or other issues.

Jamir suggested that churches and the government invest in creating parks and playgrounds in every locality to encourage children and youth to engage in outdoor activities rather than spending excessive time on electronic devices. He highlighted that many children today, while not using drugs or alcohol, may spend excessive amounts of money and time on online games or gambling websites.

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Jun 08, 2024 12:14:55 am
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