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Understanding ripple effects of addiction

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 8: Several discussions have surrounded the journeys of recovering drug addicts and their path to sobriety. However, in a first, Ajita S Lyngdoh, a journalist with two decades of experience in Mumbai, shared her experience of the mental strain of being around addicts and its impact on families.
Lyngdoh spoke at the ‘Strength in Sobriety Campaign’, a collaborative effort between the Department of Mass Media’s 6th Semester Media Technology students and Child-Friendly Shillong (Bosco Integrated Development Society). The event, held under the theme ‘Addiction is a disease,’ aimed to shed light on the transformative journey of addicts.
She shared her own journey with Al-Anon, an organisation aiding addicts through various methods. Lyngdoh highlighted the concept of “Dry Drunk,” wherein individuals are indirectly affected by substance abuse while living with addicts, stressing the importance of support networks in battling addiction’s ripple effects.
The event was graced by CD Lyngwa, Director of the Social Welfare Department, as the chief guest, along with Deep Gurung, Project Coordinator of the Bosco Development Society, and other guests including Chayanika Sharma, psychiatrist at Supercare Hospital, Samuel Rymbai from Kripa Foundation, and Jeremaiah Nongrum, Secretary of Meghalaya Users Forum.
The campaign video, composed by students, aimed at raising awareness about substance abuse, was played during the event.
Key topics covered included the four rights of children, with Deep Gurung from ‘The BIDS’ giving a presentation explaining children’s rights.
Samuel Rymbai and Jerry Nongrum shared their testimonies and journeys from being drug addicts to overcoming addiction.
Director of Social Welfare, CD Lyngwa, captivated the audience with her dynamic speech, lauding the guest speakers and highlighting the diverse activities of the event. A highlight of the event was a video presentation by students from Dinet Manik Syiem School, featuring a puppet show addressing the influence of peer pressure and “bad friends.”
The campaign aimed to educate and empower children to make informed choices and resist the allure of substance abuse, emphasizing the importance of support networks and awareness.
Earlier in the day, a flash mob with the theme ‘Break the Chain’ too place with 23 students from Padma Memorial School participating in the activity.
Following that, a video Quiz titled ‘Substance Sense’ involved 12 students from Shillong Secondary School. Through interactive questions, the quiz aimed to impart knowledge and promote awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.
Twelve students from a local school engaged in ‘Artful Awakening,’ an innovative activity aimed at fostering awareness about substance abuse among children. Additionally, a street play titled ‘Choices,’ staged by 15 students from Mizo Presbyterian School, conveyed a compelling message.

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