Shillong: Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Saturday said drug abuse or drug addiction is a problem that not only affects the youth but the society as a whole.
Drugs ruin individuals and the society manifold – socially, physically, culturally, emotionally and economically, he said while addressing a programme on International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Expressing concern about the increasing number of drug users among children and youth in the state, Tynsong said that children can easily succumb to the pressure of their peers and friends to turn to these intoxicants for comfort.
He called upon various organisations to eradicate this menace and emphasized on addressing the challenges of illegal drugs so that the youth of the state are protected.
Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui stressed on the need to hold drug awareness programmes in schools and colleges so that children and youth can be aware of the harmful effects of substance abuse. Only when youth have the strength to say no to drugs, the purpose of this observation is achieved, he said.
Meghalaya DGP LR Bishnoi said the state has approximately 2.5 lakhs drug users including injectable drugs and psychotropic substances users.
The DGP said, Due to close proximity to the golden triangle, Meghalaya has become a major transit point for drug trafficking and this has put the authorities on a very high alert to tackle the menace.
Bishnoi said police have come out with a strategic plan by strengthening infrastructure and having coordination among all stakeholders, besides organizing multiple awareness programmes in schools, colleges, villages and towns and other activities.
He said in the last 15 days, Meghalaya Police has conducted a record 142 drug awareness programmes in schools, colleges and other public places across the state reaching out to over 15,000 young people across the state.
Chief Secretary Rebecca V Suchiang while highlighting the perils of drug abuse, stressed on the importance of educating young children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse and the need to provide them emotional support so that they do not develop the need to turn to substance use for comfort. She also appealed to parents, teachers and all sections of society to prioritize support, education and protection of youth against substance abuse and to work together to safeguard their physical and mental health.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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