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Drug abuse associated with crime
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, AUG 28 (NPN):
Published on 29 Aug. 2009 1:13 AM IST
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Drug abuse is not only a major health problem but also associated with crime, minister for health and family welfare Kuzholuzo Neinu said while addressing the National Conference on Recent Trends in Treatment and Rehabilitation of Drug Abuse as chief guest here Friday. The minister said that in order to tackle the menace, the state comprising both government and responsible citizens should work together to rein such abuse. Pointing out tremendous challenge posed by drug addiction and HIV and AIDS on Naga youths, the minister underlined the need for treatment and rehabilitation as utmost priority for the state government. Pointing to the increasing number of drug abusers in the state, the minister said about 60,000 youth were suspected to be substance abusers. Further, Azo pointed out that traditional local brew, prepared and consumed by forefathers as a food item, has also affected the social system. Terming drug addition as a chronic disease, he called upon the government, judiciary, social organisation and responsible members of the society to work together to control the menace in the society. The minister also called upon the society to help the substance abusers to join the mainstream and lead healthy and productive lives. Describing youths as future pillars of society, the urged them to make right choices in life instead of being drowned in the sea of drugs, alcohol and similar psychotropic substances. Mr Azo Neinu also called upon all stake holders including district hospitals, social welfare department, youth resource department along with police and excise department to join hands to fight the social menace of drug abuse. Earlier, The Global Open University, Nagaland (TGOUN) pro-chancellor Dr. P.R Trivedi, delivered presidential remarks, TGOUN mental health HoD Dr. Vimala Veeraraghavan gave theme presentation and stressed on the need for more research on the problem of drugs and substance abuse. Emeritus professor, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Government of Delhi, Dr. S. D Sharma delivering keynote address presented various issues concerning the problems of drug abuse. He further dwelled on the history of drug abuse in India and presented alarming statistics of drug abusers in India. According to his report there are about 2.25 million drug abusers in the country including 34,500 in Manipur, 24,700 in Nagaland and 3,000 in Mizoram. Others who spoke at the function included Dr. Deepak Raheja, chairman and executive director, hope foundation, New Delhi, S.P Kar IPS (Retd) former IG of Police, Assam, Sunil Gupta, law officer, Tihar jail, New Delhi and Dr. Aaradhana Salpekar, controller of examination, TGOUN. The two-day conference, organized by The Global Open University, Nagaland (TGOUN) at Dimapur, witnessed the release of three books, one on drug abuse, TGOUN prospectus and TGOUN encyclopedia by chief guest, in the presence of Dr. P.R Trivedi, TGOUN Pro-Chancellor and Dr. S. D Sharma, Emeritus professor, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences. The conference touched upon various topics including declaration of guiding principles of drug demand reduction, global issues, international consensus on treatment strategy development, key features of strategic framework for treatment, rights and duties of treatment programme for the abusers, nature of needs assessment, rationale for conducting needs assessment and designing and conducting a needs assessment.

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