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First Nagaland drug users’ conference
Correspondent, KOHIMA, Nov 15:
Published on 16 Nov. 2008 12:13 AM IST
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First Nagaland Drug Users’ conference was held Saturday on the theme ‘together we can’ at state academy hall, Kohima. Advisor to CM for IT & TE, Chairman DAN & Public Account Committee Vikho-o Yhoshü (MLA) while addressing the inaugural session said “We cannot change many things in life, but there are a lot we can also help to change. Together we can bring about positive changes not only in HIV/AIDS programs but also in the society”, “How amazing or wonderful that life is broken first before being built up – We are broken, wounded and injured people, who are recovering. Let’s celebrate! Because we have nowhere but upwards to go!” said the MLA who admitted of being a recovering addict from his past alcoholic addiction. He also reminded the drug users present on the occasion of their responsibilities not just to themselves but also to the society. “We started using drugs and we became ‘loners’. Let us work in our relationship with our families who we, at most times, take for granted; NGOs who stood by us even when we didn’t want them because they saw that we needed them; the Government and the society in general”, he added. Saying that program for the drug user cannot be planned without participation of drug user; he called upon Nagaland Users’ Network (NUN) for their active participation in such planning of program for the drug users including oral drug users and alcoholics. Pointing out the decreasing prevalence rate of HIV transmission among the Injecting Drug Users from 39% in 1994 to 2.45% in 2007, Yhoshü said the drop in the transmission rate indicated that HIV/AIDS intervention programs carried out for drug users were very effective in the state. He also thanked the NGOs working in partnership with the government in the area for the achievement. Nobody is born a drug user/addict and nobody ever want to become an addict, the whole mess of their life started because, they are hoodwink in drugs, Ch. Anand, member NE Drug Users Forum, CRS, Gauhati said in his keynote address. He also expressed dismay at the continuous prevailing discrimination to drug users’ community and also lack of initiative on deadly Hepatitis–C disease closely associated with drug users. In this regard, he called upon drug user not to wait for others to come forward to advocate their issue but sit together and seriously ponder on various issues that affects them. Convenor of the organizing Committee Abou Mere while introducing to Conference pointed out that access to treatment for drug users remained very limited, he stressed the need for a comprehensive program for the Drug users without which the chance of staying away from drugs was difficult. Short speeches was delivered by Dr.Jyoti Mehra, HIV/AIDS Advisor UNODC, ROSA, Charan, NE Regional Office, NACO, Neiketu Iralu, Member MRA International, Dr. P. Ngully, Chairman, Kripa Foundation, Nagaland and Dr.L.Yanthan, Additional Director NSAC. Ketholelie, President NUN presented his presidential addressed on the occasion. Naga Idol 2007 Finalist Rothrongkiu, Setso and Boulie-o, all members NUN enthralled the inaugural session with special songs. While, vote of thanks was proposed by Khriebu Nakhro, secretary, organizing committee In the afternoon session, resource person Dr.Jyoti Mehra, HIV/AIDS Advisor UNODC, ROSA addressed the conference on the topic ‘Rights & Responsibilities’, Neiketu Iralu, MRA International Member on “Spirituality and Recovery” followed by sharing on the theme by Dr.Joyce, Charan from NACO, W.C. Humtsoe from N Naga-DAO and representatives of Users Community from Manipur and Nagaland. Later, there was a recovery meeting facilitated by KUN followed by entertainment by Boulie-o and Friends. More than 200 participants from across the state were expected to taken part in the conference which culminates Sunday.

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