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Shillong, June 26. 2018:

With the aim to highlight the ongoing global fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, an awareness programme was held today in observation of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2018 at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong under the theme — Listen First- Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.

The programme, which saw the participation of a number of schools was organised by the office of the District Social Welfare Officer, East Khasi Hills, Shillong in collaboration with Meghalaya AIDS Control Society, Shillong, KJPA New Hope De-addiction Centre, Shillong and other stakeholders.

Speaking as the Chief Guest, Superintendent of Police of East Khasi Hills, Davies N. R. Marak said that Meghalaya is slowly emerging as the heroin distribution centre of the country.

With Shillong as the transit point, many players, some with militant background or affiliations are involved in the drug trafficking business to fund their anti-social activities, he added.

The rise in petty crimes in some areas has also been attributed to the growing numbers of drug users, particularly among the youth, who commit such crimes to satiate their cravings.

District police chief, DNR Marak presenting the award to the winner of the slogan writing completion

Expressing concern over the fact that most traffickers come from low income families or those with a history of broken homes, he stressed on the need to pay more attention to the youth and urged all stakeholders to work hand in hand with the police to curb the menace of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Marak also informed the gathering that in its continued efforts to curb the dangers of drug abuse and illicit trafficking, the Police Department, beginning this week, is also organising a week long awareness programme in different localities, schools and colleges.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry Department, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong, Dr. Arvind Nongpuir, while highlighting the perils of drug abuse, stated that in most cases, the use of illicit drugs begin at an early age. The inquisitiveness to experiment or succumb to peer pressure often leads adolescents to use drugs thereby preventing them from leading a healthy and productive life.

Stressing that drug abuse is no longer considered just a social problem, Dr. Nongpuir said today drug abuse is accepted as an illness and with proper medical intervention, drug addiction can be treated.

On the occasion, a testimony was also shared by a recovered drug addict on the trials and tribulation of his long journey on the road to recovery.

Later, prizes were also awarded to the winners of the slogan writing completion where Synod Higher Secondary School bagged the First prize. The Second prize went to Seven Set Higher Secondary School and the Third prize to B.K. Bajoria. Consolation prizes were given to Mawprem Modern Higher Secondary School and St Dominic College, Shillong.

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