Drug addiction among Arunachal tribals: Matter of Concern; Know How!

Story highlights

  • According to a gov report, Arunachal has emerged as the top among illegal opium producers
  • Drug addictions is a menace that is spreading like a wild fire

Drug addiction has become a major factor for the alarming rise of delinquencies of the youths of this region, recently Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu while checking out the status of modernization of drugs de-addiction with the senior officers of Health Departments on Thursday called to make drugs de-addiction centers functional at the earliest.

According to a government report, Arunachal has emerged as the top among illegal opium producers in the country.

Consumption of raw-opium, ganja (marijuana), bhang and alcohol was not unknown in the tribal communities of the North East region. There has been a long history and tradition regarding the use of these drugs. In many pockets of this region, many of these drugs are cultivated traditionally and almost 76 types of drugs are used customarily and culturally by the people of the state.

He said that drug addiction is a menace that is spreading like a wild fire in all over the State and is ruining the society day by day. He asserted that the Government is very serious about the issue and drug menace is one of the top priorities of the Government. Arunachal CM called to deal with the issue from all angles and manifested to have the concerted efforts by the administration, police, narcotic cell and the civil bodies including NGOs.

He stated that the Government has provided Rs 10 crores in the last budget for modernization of the existing drugs de-addiction centres in the state including the purchase of required medicines and equipment. However, it is seen that some drug de-addiction centres are still ‘non-functional’. He urged the departments to draw a concrete action plan and make these centres functional at the earliest so that it caters to the needs of the society.

He further stressed on the need to facilitate all the district hospitals with modern types of equipment and medical facilities in phase wise funding and asked the officers of the departments to submit requirements to be incorporated in the coming budget.

                          Also Read: Arunachal Pradesh governor meets NSA Ajit Doval

Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Investment, Chau Zingnu Namchoom said that Namsai district is one of the worse affected by the drug menace and the district is in urgent need of the drugs de-addiction centres. He also requested the department to make the drugs de-addiction centres at Namsai district functional by placing required fund, manpower and types of equipment as early as possible.

The reason for the increase in drug abuse in this region is manifold. First the irresponsible lifestyle of the youths of this region and secondly the proximity of this region with ‘Golden Triangle’. Thirdly, the slack law enforcement machinery in the NE states. The spread of western culture among the tribal population of this region may also be held responsible for this alarming rise in drug abuse.

A report by the Central Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), accessed by PTI, states that large tracts in this State are now being cultivated commercially by the rich and influential people for extraction of opium gum and trafficking of the same.

It cautioned that if the worrying trend is not checked promptly, ”the situation may take a serious turn not only affecting national security” but also having an adverse impact on the health and existence of the various tribes inhabiting the remote and inaccessible areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

The report adds that during a recent visit of security and anti-narcotics sleuths to the border areas of the State, it was noticed “that such (opium) cultivation has led to opium addiction among the tribal population.”

Security agencies reported that such a development in the border districts was alarming as their location was “quite sensitive” owing to their geographical closeness to India’s borders with Myanmar and China.

IMPACT OF DRUGS ON YOUTHS
The most unfortunate aspect of the phenomenon of drug addiction has been the alarming rise of addiction among the youths of this region and consequent increase in the drug-related crimes. According to various surveys studies conducted in this region, a large percentage of the region’s youths are under the spell of drugs.

Therefore, there is an immediate need to curb the menace of drugs and explosion of drug-related violence/ crimes which otherwise may result in very disastrous consequences.

                       Also Read: Drug Abuse Results in the Loss of 65 Lives

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