Drug and substance abuse is a major problem in Nagaland. The state has a high prevalence of drug use with the most commonly abused drugs being heroin, opium, marijuana, and synthetic drugs like methamphetamine or “meth.” These substances are often consumed through injection, smoking, or oral ingestion. Reports like that of the chilling news of a student leader being hacked to death in Tizit, Mon by an alleged drug peddler will become commonplace if the problem is not contained today.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s report on the ‘Magnitude of Substance Use in India 2019’ found that 4.7% and 6.5% of the surveyed population in Nagaland were users of cannabis and opioids respectively. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), a law enforcement agency that is responsible for combating drug trafficking in India, has stated that Nagaland is a major transit route for drugs from Myanmar to other parts of India. According to the State Mental Health Institute, Kohima (SMHIK), a government-run mental health hospital, 20% of the mental illness reported in the state is associated with substance abuse.
These are just a few of the sources of data on drug and substance abuse in Nagaland. Drug addiction is prevalent among various age groups in Nagaland, but it is particularly prominent among the youth. Factors such as peer pressure, unemployment, and a lack of recreational activities contribute to the vulnerability of young individuals to substance abuse.
The problem of drug abuse is a complex one, and there is no easy solution. However, by understanding the problem and its causes, we can begin to develop effective strategies for prevention and treatment. There are a number of factors that contribute to drug and substance abuse in Nagaland. These include poverty, unemployment, social isolation, peer pressure, and easy availability of drugs.
Drug and substance abuse can have a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities. It can lead to a number of problems, including financial and health problems, criminal activity, and social problems. Many of these problems are already prevailing even in Mokokchung. In fact, just recently, Mokokchung Police took into custody some young men for theft who were later found to be drug users as per reports. There are also unconfirmed reports of a spike in the number of drug users in Mokokchung.
Nagaland Police has been actively involved in the war on drugs. However, Police alone will not be able to win the ‘war’. Combating drug abuse requires a multi-faceted approach, including prevention, treatment, and aftercare. It is crucial to focus on education, community involvement, law enforcement, and rehabilitation efforts to address the issue effectively. By working together, we can make a difference.