Aizawl: Mizoram Social Welfare minister Dr K Beichhua on Sunday said that the state government is taking effort to make special budgetary provision for combating the growing drug menace in the state.
The minister said that the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga is giving utmost concern to people, who have been affected by drugs and is taking effort to set up new de-addiction centres besides strengthening the existing ones.
He said that the government is determined to curb the menace for which separate budgetary provision is on the card and this will be tabled in the budget session to be held in March next.
Citing that peaceful social life is the primary need of the state, Beichhua said socio-economic development is meaningless unless there is peace in society.
He said that the growing drug menace has to be checked in order to restore peaceful social life.
The minister also urged all churches to back the state government in prayers.
In spite of massive efforts taken by the state government and civil society organizations, Mizoram continues to grapple with rampant drug abuse especially among youngsters.
The tiny states has also witnessed an increase in drug related deaths since three to four years.
According to government record, at least 1,529 people, including 173 women have died due to drug abuse since 1984 when the first drug-related death due to heroin was reported in the state.
During last year, at least 56 people, including 10 women have died due to drug abuse.
In this year till January, at least 5 people, including a female have also died due to substance abuse.
Though Spasmo-proxyvon and Parvon spas were the main killer drugs till 2014, heroin has taken their place from 2015.
As a part of measure to combat drug menace, the state government had on January 30 sent 30 workers from various de-addiction centres in the state for a nine-day intensive training at a Chennai based hospital-cum-research institute. The workers returned to the state last week on completion of the training.
They received lesson and guidance in clinical duties, medical and psychological handling of drug-addict patients at TTK Hospital.
According to officials of state social welfare department, there are 33 de-addiction centres in the state, comprised of 16 in Aizawl district, 6 in Lunglei district, 4 in Champhai district, 2 each in Serchhip, Kolasib and Siaha districts and one in Mamit district.
Of these, 11 are under the Centre and 2 under the state government, while the rest are manned by churches and private bodies.