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Drug addict control policy in Manipur soon
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 6:
Published on 6 Apr. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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Manipur will have a drug addict control policy soon. A committee of state social welfare department is drafting the policy following an instruction from the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment, an official source said Tuesday.
The source from the social welfare department observed that drug addiction in the state was increasing day by day and the committee was expecting to come out with a comprehensive policy.
In Manipur drug abuse started raising its ugly head in the early 1980s with its peak in late 1980s with a record of 20,000 to 40,000 addicts in 1990s with majority being heroin IDUs with sharing of needle and syringes. As a result 80% of the IDUs became HIV infected, according to analysis reports.
A sample study report of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), the number of addicts rose from 6% in 1972 to 23% in 1982 in Manipur. Further there were 300/1305 (229/1000) outpatient addicts as against the National level of 6/1000.
Analysis reports say that 42 % of students of age between 0-15 years are addicted in one or other drug. The percentage is 30.32 for the age between 16-25 years while 35.88 for age between 26 to 35 years.
Another specific study of 40 high schools in Churachandpur district, Manipur showed that there were 67% addicts among the students their ages varying from 10 to 15 years and 28% addicts in the same district among the students of two colleges, their ages varying from 15 – 25 years. Moreover, 60 per 1000 government employees were found to be addicts. The State rate is the highest in the country.
Manipur State has also surpassed the National Record in the field of liquor having sold out, consumed 98,432 liters in 1979 – 80 and in 1985 there were 60 licensed Foreign Liquor Shops, 38 being bagged by Imphal alone. Illicit distillation, liquor brewing has been high and alarming.
First Reported Survey of Drug Abuse in Ukhrul District indicated showed the number of addicts: 15 addicts in 1982-83, 242 in 1987, 3137 in 1992-93 and 3500 to 4000 in 1996-97.
In connection with drug abuse another ugly head in the form HIV/AIDS infection had played the worst. HIV prevalence among injecting drug users is above 20%. The virus has spread further to the female sexual partners of drug users and their children. The 2005-2006 survey of the general population found that 1.13% was infected - the highest of all states surveyed.
The prevalence of HIV is increasing at alarming rate in Manipur. The state is one of the six high HIV prevalence states of the country. As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS0-3, the HIV prevalence is 1.3 percent. The data based on actual testing of 271,000 persons is much worse. It showed a HIV prevalence of 11% in the state.
As on 30th Sept 2005, 1,28,176 blood samples were screened in Manipur out of which 20,744 were found to be HIV sero positive. In respect of district wise Ukhrul district has 1909 screened, 809 HIV+ with 43% sero-positive rate followed by Churachandpur district with 33% and Imphal by 21%.
Presently, a total of 21 drug de-addiction centres are running in the state with funds from various funding agencies like the Manipur AIDS Control Society, National AIDS Control Organisations and others.
In most cases, these centres are overloaded most of the time and authorities of the centres are facing financial constrains.

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