'Drug users are to be empathised like any other patient'
CoNE, Manipur president Nalinikanta Rajkumar expressed his concern that drugs are easily available and at cheaper rates, leading to exponential increase in the number of drug users.
Drug users are not to be criminalised but rather empathised like any other patients and they need to be given proper treatment, Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Manipur president Nalinikanta Rajkumar said.
He was speaking at an online legal awareness programme for PLVs, police personnel, local clubs of Tamenglong on the topic, ‘Role of PLVs, local clubs in identifying the potential drug users, pattern among the local youth and steps for prevention and rehabilitation’ organised by District Legal Services Authority, Tamenglong.
Nalinikanta Rajkumar, who attended the webinar as a resource person, identified three main sources or reasons for availability of drugs in Manipur.
He said that first is Manipur being a neighbour of Myanmar, one of the countries of Golden Triangle, second is the Pharmaceutical Companies and third is the poppy plantation culture. He emphasised that the drug users are not to be criminalised but rather empathised like any other patients and they needed to be provided proper treatment. He stated that there are at present, 21 ministry-funded Rehabilitation Centres in Manipur but unfortunately not a single such rehabilitation centre has been established in Tamenglong district.
He expressed his concern that currently, drugs are easily available and at cheaper rates, leading to exponential increase in the number of drug users. This being the trend, there is a need for increasing the number of rehabilitation centres, he said. Considering the rise in the number of drug users in the state, many private funded rehabilitation centres are mushrooming; hence, framing of proper rules and regulations for monitoring these centres is also the need of the hour, he said. During the discussion hour, many concerns were raised by PLVs, he added.
He stressed that one of the main concerns is the non-availability of proper treatment centres for drug users in Tamenglong and Noney districts. Need for the establishment of a ministry-funded rehabilitation centre in Tamenglong and Noney districts was felt by everyone present in the webinar.
Chief Judicial Magistrate cum secretary, DLSA Tamenglong K Nirojit highlighted the importance of role of PLVs and Local Clubs in sensitising the problem of drug users so that these drug users can be identified and proper treatment can be provided to them.
The programme was attended by judicial officers, PLVs, police personnel, local clubs of Tamenglong etc. On the onset, District and Sessions Judge, Imphal West cum chairman DLSA Tamenglong Aribam Guneshwar Sharma addressed on the topic of the programme. He also emphasised the importance of differentiating between drug users and drug traffickers, especially as a role of police.
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