TODAY -

Observance of 26th June 2012 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Rosul Sagolsem *

All Manipur Anti-Drug association (AMADA) observed the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, thousands of peoples took part in the Mass Rally in Imphal after that a public meeting was held at THAU ground Thangmeiband on Friday, the 26th June 2009.
All Manipur Anti-Drug association (AMADA) observed the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, thousands of peoples took part in the Mass Rally in Imphal after that a public meeting was held at THAU ground Thangmeiband on Friday, the 26th June 2009



Theme : "Think health - not drugs" (ongoing since 2010)

The General Assembly in 1987 decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and co-operation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. It took that action on 7 December 1987 (resolution 42/112), following a recommendation of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which, on 26 June, had adopted the comprehensive multidisciplinary outline of future activities in drug abuse control.

This year's theme (ongoing since 2010) is selected to emphasise the continuing serious threat of drug abuse to public health, the safety and well-being of humanity, in particular young people. Drug abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs undermines socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development and threatens the security and sovereignty of states.

Thus, how much money and capital the Centre may inject in Manipur or the hype over the Look East Policy will do nothing but more harm unless the menace of drug crippling the state is put under control. Trapping the helpless addicts into their mould, antisocial and traffickers promotes their practices and trades. Drug money can help sustain ethnic conflicts or gun culture.

The United Nations' (UN) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falls on June 26 each year to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. This day is supported by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world. It's a global observance and not a public holiday.

Taking the opportunity let's have a look at the state situation. The state has 2.5 million approx general population of which 30,000 - 40,000 are drug dependents (FHI & NACO study 2004). The main choices of chemical are Heroin and Spasmoproxivon Capsules. Alcohol abuse is a perennial problem, changing trend is increasing number of alcoholics are getting admitted for treatment at Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centres.

The demographic profile of the drug dependents reveals that 55.58 % are in the age group of 26-35 years, 70.5 % are unmarried, 74.27 % are undergraduates, and 46.91 % are employed (self, private and full time employment) and 75.67 % initiate their drug use in the age of 16-25 years. Mode of use of injecting practices was 92 % and 45 % in 2001 and 2008 respectively. In the respective years needle syringe sharing practices were 84 % and 16 %.

Why drug abuse is a serious problem in the state of Manipur

  • Easy access ; proximity to the golden triangle and porous international boundary
  • Changing life style.
  • Peer pressure
  • Lack of proper parental care
  • No role model
  • Lack of supportive environment
Added to these factors are the changing value systems inbuilt in this globalising world. Individual and groups are in cut throat competition. Education curricula are directed in producing skilled professionals, no room for creativity and enjoyment. The race for money and material success is enormous. Expectations of parents are more of a burden. Failures and setbacks are unbearable and irreversible. Thus, drugs and its effects are enticing for the young learners / grapplers to help them manoeuvre the odds or seeking relief from negative emotions.

Reducing the demand for drugs through treatment and creation of supportive environment for the drug demands is a prerequisite before tackling illicit trafficking. In Manipur NGOs and CBOs are doing their might on the demand reduction side but the Government machinery seems to be found wanting in tackling the cultivation, production and distribution of drugs or the supply reduction.

It's common knowledge police and anti drug enforcing agencies is good and busy at finding peddlers and addicts, extract some money and set them free to catch them again. It may due to loopholes of existing drug laws like the NDPS Act. If needed, why don't we initiate to recommend it or lobby to enact new effective laws. Voices for a State Drug Policy has been raised since long but seldom materialised. If a strong political will and commitment goes with the zeal and efforts of the community, there is no way we cannot control the menace of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

How can we observe the Day ?

Individuals :
  • If you use drug try to abstain for the day
  • Share the significance of observing the Day or its message to your family members
  • Participate in local and state programs held in relation to the observance
Groups and Institutions :
  • Pronounce the observance of the Day in the notice board, programs of the day, PA system etc
  • Organise your own awareness or information sharing on drug abuse and illicit trafficking during recess or breaks
  • Send your recommendations and suggestions to NGOs, CBOs and Govt agencies working on the field of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Do not wait to act only when you or your immediate family is in the clutches of drug abuse. It may be too late for you, your community and humanity.


* Rosul Sagolsem wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer is Senior Counselor, Shine IRCA (Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts) , Thangmeiband Yumnam Leikai
This article was posted on June 26 2012



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