Friday, June 14, 2024
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Drugs and the NE

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The Northeast has problems galore. The drug abuse is assuming an ominous dimension in the Northeastern states, especially Mizoram and Manipur. Officials have unearthed a large quantity of heroin, hemp and other drugs in these states. Youths in the Northeast also drink cough syrups and sniff adhesives for a kick. Security forces are trying hard to create awareness about the evils of such addiction in the border areas of Mizoram, Manipur and parts of Tripura. The Narcotics Control Bureau of Manipur has stated that the problem has become acute as the state is a transit point of drugs to and from Myanmar. About 40,000 are said to inject drugs in Manipur, among them 5,000 are female and highly vulnerable to HIV. The closeness of the Golden Triangle, sprawling over border areas of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar aggravates the crisis. Mizoram is also a problem state as it is flanked by Bangladesh and Myanmar. There the number of child drug takers could be as high as 10,000 to 30,000. Even ten year olds inject drugs.

The officials claim that death due to drug abuse in these states is on the decline though there has been a 150% rise in drug related cases. The focus is on Manipur and Mizoram but the abuse has also spread to Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya. Quantification is not the answer. The authorities have to get to the bottom of the problem. Some of the drugs like heroin are known to be very costly. It is felt that unemployment and poverty make northeastern youth turn into drug addicts. Where do they get the money? Has there been a rising crime wave to explain it? Who are the people running the racket and pushing drugs? Unless the villains of the piece are brought to book, sermonizing the youth will not do wonders. The growing amity with Myanmar should help check the smuggling of illicit drugs from across the border.

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