Kohima, Jun 26 (PTI) Nagaland Police has seized assorted psychotropic drugs worth Rs 117.28 crore since June last year, a senior officer of the Narcotic Cell of the Police Headquarters, here said.

Speaking on the topic 'supply reduction scenario in Nagaland' on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observed here on Sunday, SP (Narcotic Cell) Bendang Jamir said drugs amounting to Rs 117,28,32,220 was seized since June 2021 from different parts of the state.

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The seizure includes 16.75 kg of brown sugar (Rs 33.5 crore), 8.93 kg of heroin (Rs 26.79 crore), 5.8 kg of Methamphetamine (Rs 17.4 crore), 86.98 kg of opium (Rs 8.69 crore), 2,903 kg of ganja (29.03 crore), 57,812 packets of imported cigarette (Rs 1.15 crore), 1,35,107 Yaba tablets (Rs 27.02 lakh), 1,79,369 numbers of synthetic drugs (Rs 35.87 lakh), 2,362 bottles of cough syrup (Rs 7.08 lakh), the SP said.

Despite the huge seizure of drugs and other psychotropic substances by the law enforcing agency, the consumer rate in Nagaland is high due to some entry and exit points which cannot be manned or checked, specially the international border at Noklak and Mon districts and also state-border shared with Assam, he said.

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The officer stressed that a strong mechanism needs to be developed between the law enforcing agencies and all the stakeholders, including the general public to curb smuggling by drug traffickers.

Medical Officer of Kripa Foundation, Dr Joyce Angami stressing on the need for collective response, said drugs and alcohol abuse is a disease requiring medical help for the physical body and the church for the spiritual healing and directions for their life.

Before someone gets into drugs and alcoholism, it is more important to try and prevent them as prevention is better than cure, she said and stressed on the need for collective effort with proper planning and strategies to restrain new entries into drugs. “We have a humanitarian crisis in the form of chemical abuse, which not only destroys the person but also the family, society and community where they come from,” she said. Dr Angami, therefore, suggested for all including the government, police, social welfare department and the general public to come together to curb the inflow of drugs and alcohol. Commissioner and Secretary of Social Welfare Department, Government of Nagaland, Martha R Ritse said Nagaland's geographical location puts the state in a vulnerable position with its access to all sorts of illegal drugs trafficked through porous domestic and international borders, resulting in many lives lost and the irreparable loss due to substance abuse. She said that the Social Welfare Department being the nodal department is implementing the Central government's ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan' campaign, under which three districts – Kohima, Dimapur and Mon are covered. Various awareness programmes have been carried out through the initiatives of the district administration with the help of stakeholders, she said. Currently, the department is pursuing with the ministry to set up more rehabilitation centres and de-addiction centres to expand the need-based intervention strategies in other districts, she said. Ritse said the ultimate and long term goal should be to minimize the number of such centres by minimizing the number of drug users in our state. “Primary Prevention is very crucial and we must prevent our children and youth from venturing into such harmful habits,” she said while calling upon all to reaffirm their commitment and strengthen the collective stand to make the society a ‘Drug Free Society'.

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