Prompt Calls For Action To Mitigate Drug Menace In Nagaland - Eastern Mirror
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Kohima, Nagaland

Prompt calls for action to mitigate drug menace in Nagaland

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Oct 26, 2023 6:24 pm
Prompt calls for action to mitigate drug menace in nagaland
Ketho Angami, Sekho Dawhuo, Rokokhrielie Seünuo with officials of DCPU Kohima and others at Hotel Ura conference hall in Kohima on Thursday. Photo: EM Images.

KOHIMA — Expressing concern about the rampant and rising menace of narcotic drugs in the state, Ketho Angami, the President of the Access to Rights and Knowledge (ARK) Foundation, called for efforts to mitigate the drug menace.

Angami was speaking at a one-day awareness seminar on substance abuse for various child care institutions, District Child Protection Units (DCPUs), and stakeholders of Kohima district at Hotel Ura conference hall in Kohima as the resource person. The program was organised by the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Nagaland.

Stating that drug use was reported in Nagaland as early as the 1980s and how various types of drugs have been evolving over the years, he pointed out that society was ignorant, and almost every family or relative has someone using drugs. He added that alcohol was the most commonly used drug and served as a gateway to drugs. Ketho Angami expressed concern that children as young as 12 or 13 years and college-going students in uniform are into drugs.

Maintaining that addiction is going to remain in society, he pointed out that eradication would be a hard task due to the huge drug business nexus with porous infiltrations into the state from various parts of the state, reaching even to the most remote part of the state, unlike other commodities that are still not accessible.

He noted that drug abuse is growing rampant, although many have not taken injections to a large extent, and added that drug users are not confined to the male gender alone but also include women, which is on the rise. He pointed out that ‘Sunflower’ drug users are more prevalent at the moment. In this regard, he sounded the alert on the need to intensify the fight against drugs to mitigate the menace from further spreading. He stated that it takes a great deal of struggle for de-addiction while also pointing out the importance of addressing withdrawal, without which there is no shortcut for de-addiction, although it takes time. He also conducted a session on the prevention and management of substance abuse.

Shanchobeni from ARK Foundation conducted a session on the nature and types of substance abuse counselling in child care institutions (CCIs). During her presentation, she stated that 1 out of 5 persons needs counselling. She pointed out that counselling is still stigmatised due to misconceptions in society that deter people from seeking professional help.

Shanchobeni also emphasised the need to debunk those misconceptions to encourage people to seek counselling, which she described as a talk therapy that provides support to those in need. She underscored the need for counsellors to practice empathy, acceptance, communication, a non-judgmental attitude, confidentiality, individuality, control emotional involvement, and maintaining a professional distance.

She also advised stakeholders, especially the counsellors, to build rapport, get to know and understand the clients and provide support to those seeking services. Stressing the importance of preventive counselling and supportive counselling, she called for collaborative efforts among all sections to raise awareness and encourage people to seek professional services and to provide interventions. She further emphasised the need for networking among various agencies and stakeholders to provide help and services to substance users with proper care, rather than punitive measures.

Delivering the welcome address, Sekho Dawhuo, district child protection officer (DCPO) of Kohima, stated that the seminar was a much-needed program in the wake of the rising crimes and abuses against children in today’s society. He expressed hope that the seminar would enable the stakeholders working for children’s rights and safety to address issues and broaden their horizons to reach out to children who need care and protection.

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: Oct 26, 2023 6:24:18 pm
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