Meghalaya government on October 9 expressed concern over the “steep rise” in substance abuse in the state, even as several measures have been initiated to check the menace.
State director of Social Welfare department, DD Shira, attending a programme – Nasha-Mukt Bharat – organized by the East Khasi Hills district administration and district social welfare office, expressed concern over the “steep rise” in the number of substance abuse cases in the state. He said that this has hampered the progress of the state.
Concern has also been raised from several quarters over the growing drug menace in the state, especially in the capital city Shillong, from where several drug peddlers, most of who come from outside, are almost routinely rounded up by the police,
“The government continues to find ways and means to combat this menace which affects the lives of families and the society,” the official said.
Shira called upon all concerned citizens and departments to commit themselves in helping the youth, especially by engaging them in various activities and by introducing programmes which can “sway them away from the danger of drugs”.
East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Isawanda Laloo said: “East Khasi Hills is among the 272 most-affected districts in the country in terms of intoxicant usage. The launch of this campaign should be taken on a mission mode to eradicate this menace from the district and the state as a whole.”
She further added that that the district administration, including the police, Social Welfare department and partner NGOs has formulated a three-pronged approach to tackle this problem.
“These include checking of supply chain, outreach and awareness programmes to sensitize the general public, especially in schools and colleges and demand reduction and treatment. These programmes will be carried out by the police, social welfare, the district administration, other allied departments, partner NGOs and other stakeholders,” Laloo informed.