East Khasi Hills SP Davis Marak has asserted that Shillong is turning out to be one of the major centres for the transit of contraband heroin to other parts of the country.
With the aim to highlight the ongoing global fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, an awareness programme was held on Tuesday as part of observation of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2018 at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong. The theme for 2018 is Listen First- Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.
Speaking at the programme, Marak stated that narco terrorism was happening in Shillong since Shillong being the transit point, many players, some with militant background or affiliations were involved in the drug trafficking business to fund their anti-social activities
Terming drug abuse as a health and social problem, the Superintendent of Police said there was a spurt in burglary and theft in certain parts of Shillong and people have caught many drug users in connection with those cases.
“Their desperation for drugs is leading to crime as they need money to satisfy their cravings,” the SP said
Making it clear that it is difficult for a person to come out of drugs once he or she is addicted, Marak added that the best thing for anyone was just to say no to drugs.
He also informed that in rural Meghalaya, there are people from lower economic background who grow ganja with vegetables for economic benefits and even for sustaining their physical activity
He also revealed that drug addicts in Shillong are given 4-5 packets ( Puriya) of heroin to sell and if they sell it they are given on packet of heroin free
He also lamented that there were many drug addicts who stay alone at home and they need the support of their parents, friends and relatives to get over the deadly addiction even as he added that many juveniles were involved in the trafficking of drugs.
Shillong police recently held discussions with the Rangbah Shnongs to seek their cooperation in tackling the problem of drug abuse.
Earlier, A. Thangkhiew from Meghalaya Drug Users’ Network (MeDUNET), Shillong while sharing his testimony said, “At first I thought I would experiment with things but I got hooked. It had affected my work in the long run.”
Thangkhiew who lost three of his close friends to drugs said that he had given up hope as the pain was unbearable.
“I met a person from Voluntary Health Association of Meghalaya (VHAM), who provided me with a medicine (Oral/Opioid Substitution Therapy-OST). I felt relief after taking it. I enrolled myself at VHAM and started with counseling and medication. My life took a turn,” said Thangkhiew.
As per the current cumulative figures available with Meghalaya Aids Control Society (MACS) as on May (2018), there are 2139 injecting drug users registered in five OST centres across the state.
Dr. Arvind Nongpuir, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry Department, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong while highlighting the perils of drug abuse, stated that in most cases the use of illicit drugs began at an early age. The inquisitiveness to experiment or succumb to peer pressure often leads adolescents to use drugs thereby preventing them from leading a healthy and productive life. Stressing that drug abuse is no longer considered just a social problem, Dr. Nongpuir said today drug abuse was accepted as an illness and with proper medical intervention, drug addiction can be treated.
Later, prizes were also awarded to the winners of the slogan writing completion where Synod Higher Secondary School bagged the First prize. The Second prize went to Seven Set Higher Secondary School and the Third prize to B.K. Bajoria. Consolation prizes were given to Mawprem Modern Higher Secondary School and St Dominic College, Shillong