Drug abuse is rampant in 8 districts: ROB Director

TEZU, 17 Feb: Drug abuse is rampant in eight districts of Arunachal Pradesh and they are among the 272 districts of the country affected by the problem, said Regional Outreach Bureau, Itanagar Director Dr HR Keshavamurthy during a webinar on Wednesday.

The Field Outreach Bureau (FOB) here on Wednesday organized the webinar to discuss measures to prevent the drug problems in the undivided Lohit district as well as to raise awareness about the issue among its field officers.

Dr Keshavamurthy urged the nodal department to involve FOBs in the community outreach activities to make the control measures more meaningful.

Tezu district hospital’s Senior Medical Officer, Dr S Towang said “the situation in some six districts in eastern parts of Arunachal is very grim and the problem is deep-rooted, which requires the government’s intervention and community participation.”

He said that recently six de-addiction centres have been opened in six districts with the centre at Tezu providing indoor services. About 408 patients have so far been treated in the centre till date but follow-up has been a             problem, Dr Towang said.

“In Arunachal the main addictives are opiate derivatives, like brown sugar and opium. The drugs are consumed by both older and younger generation with older generation using home grown products since long time as a tradition and they oppose the control measures by the Narcotics Control Bureau,” he said.

Dr Towang also informed that in the recent time the risk behaviour has increased the chances of AIDS, Hepatitis etc among the addicts. He appealed to the FOB officials to use the service of counsellors and psychologists during field campaigns, for which IEC materials will be provided.

Referring to switching over to alternate commercial crops, Dr Towang said the efforts are not bearing fruits and the issue needs multi-factorial approach to make it successful.

Officials of field outreach bureaus at Bomdila, Tawang, Aalo, Tezu and Regional Outreach Bureau, Itanagar participated in the webinar.

Tirap DIPRO adds: Thirty-two drugs addicts were discharged from the de-addiction centre in Charju in Tirap district on Tuesday after recovery, while nine are still in the process of recovery.

Khonsa ADC Kretkam Tikhak, who visited the de-addiction centre on Tuesday, issued the discharge certificates to the cured patients in the presence of EAC Hakresha Kri and chairperson of the Care Me Home Welfare Society Sontung Bangsia.

During his visit, the ADC also interacted with the inmates of Care Me Home De-addiction Centre and advised them to refrain from drugs abuse, “which not only ruins their lives but also affects their family members and the society.”

Meanwhile, Bangsia informed that her NGO will be organising a mini-marathon race themed ‘Run for Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ on 20 February to mark the Statehood Day celebration.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners, second and third positions finishers.