ASACS observes International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking

Along with the rest of the country, Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) in association with Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) Centre of Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) observed International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at the Academic Hall of GMCH on June 26, 2017.

The theme of this year is – “Listen First-Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.”

Welcoming the participants that comprised of Injecting Drug Users (IDU), police personnel, NGO representatives etc, Project Director of Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) Manvendra Pratap Singh, IAS, said, “Drug abuse especially amongst the youth has hit our society very hard. We all are responsible for this menace. Therefore, we all need to wake up and fight against this menace. “ He also spoke about the OST Centres at GMCH, and Diphu Civil Hospital, where injecting drug users are administered drugs orally to minimize the injecting habits that often lead to HIV transmission. Another OST centre will be established in Silchar soon, he said.

Giving an insight on the overall scenario of drug abuse in the state, HoD of Psychiatric Department, GMCH, Dr HR Phukoon said, “ In Assam 40pc to 50 pc of people are alcohol addicts, 30 to 40 pc are opium addicts, 2pc to 3 pc are heroin addicts and 10pc to 20 pc use inhaling drugs.”

Noted celebrities Kopil Bora and Chetana Das, who also graced the occasion spoke about the rising tendencies amongst the youth towards drugs.

Speaking on the occasion, Bora said, “ There are various types of additions and amongst them, the best type of addition is the work addiction.” He said that even amongst the artiste fraternity there is a belief that only by taking alcohol and other intoxicating substance one can become better artiste but it is not true.

Cine artiste Chetana Das said, “ Guardians must keep an eye on their children and if any kind of abnormal behaviour is noticed, they should immediately blow the whistle.”

Principal of GMCH Dr AK Adhikari in his speech expressed concern over the proliferation of IDU cases day by day.

Noted actor Kopil Bora lighting the lamp on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Noted actor Chetana Das speaking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Noted actor Kopil Bora speaking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Noted actor Kopil Bora and Chetana Das  on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Project Director, ASACS, Manvendra Pratap Singh, IAS speaking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
A folk performance on Drug Abuse during  International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Dr Ramen Talukdar, Superintendent, GMCH addressing on  the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Dr A Adhikari, Principal, GMCH addressing on  the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Dr Rajib Sarma of GOLD addressing on  the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Deputy Team Leader , NETSU,  Kailash D addressing on  the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
View of the participants on  the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017
Secretary to Govt of Assam, Health & FW Deptt,  Mukul Gogoi, ACS,   speaking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking at Academic Hall, GMCH on June 26, 2017.
     


GMCH Superintendent, Dr Ramen Talukdar said, “Many of the accident cases that come in our hospital are related to drug abuse. In fact, OST cases in our hospital have increased manifold.” He further said, “There were times when pan shop owners refused to sell intoxicating products to minors. But now they don’t even hesitate to sell those products to the minors.”

Secretary to Govt of Assam, Health & FW Department Mukul Gogoi, ACS, said “ There is an onslaught of drugs in this region. Though lots have been done to impede this menace still lot is to be done as Assam is the gateway to the Northeast.” He further stressed on living healthy lives by youth which will help in keeping the youths away from drugs. In this regard, he exhorted the role of AYUSH mission.

Dr Rajib Sarma from GOLD NGO said that drug users should not be treated as criminals. In fact they should be provided necessary aid to recover from the additions.

Deputy Team Leader of Northeast Technical Support Unit (NETSU) Kailash Ditya spoke on the prevailing vulnerability of drugs in the region.

Two recovering drug addicts also shared their experiences in the event. A play on drug abuse was also performed during the day-long event.
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