Aizawl: As many as 54 people, including 12 women, died due to drug abuse in Mizoram last year, data recorded by the state excise and narcotics department revealed.
According to the data, as many as 1,578 people, comprising 1,394 men and 184 women, have died due to substance abuse since 1984, when the first drug-related death due to heroin was reported in Mizoram.
At least 42 men and 12 women died due to abuse of different types of drugs in 2019, according to the data; heroin was the main killer drug, claiming 27 lives last year.
In the overall data since 1984, Spasmo-proxyvon and Parvon spas caused a majority of the deaths at 1,161, followed by heroin, which claimed 215. Another 202 people died due to misuse of multiple drugs.
Though Spasmo-proxyvon and Parvon spas were the main killer drugs till 2014, heroin has taken their place from 2015. There was no report of death due to Spasmo-proxyvon and Parvon spas from 2017, excise officials said.
The state government as well as Young Mizo Association (YMA), the largest civil body in the state, are making massive efforts to abate supply and abuse of drugs.
In July last year, volunteers of Young Mizo Association (YMA) and state police seized 6 lakh tablets of Methamphetamine worth Rs 20 crore at Sailulak village in Serchhip district on the Mizoram-Myanmar border, which was considered to be the biggest drug haul in the state.
The state government has also decided to include a chapter on drugs abuse in school curriculum from the new academic session 2020-2021.
Mizoram is sandwiched between Myanmar and Bangladesh, with which it shares about 820-km-long international border.
The misuse of drugs in the tribal state is rampant due to increase in supply from Myanmar and neighbouring states, compelling the state government to seek the Centre’s help to fight the growing menace.
Officials of state excise and narcotics department said that as many as 12.5 kg of heroin and 90.6 kg of pseudoephedrine were seized during 2019.
Up to 370 kg of ganja or cannabis and 14.3 lakh tablets of Methamphetamine were also seized by excise officials during that year, they said.
As many as 3,254 people, including 35 foreigners, were arrested in drugs and alcohol related issues in 2019, excise officials said.