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Dimapur – February 10: Drug addiction and alcoholism is gradually tearing down the state of Nagaland, especially its youths. The use of drugs and alcohol is not confined to males alone, but females as well.

Lately, drug addiction and alcoholism have taken their toll on the youths, predominantly the student community, and this is turning out to be a major social predicament in the state. The majority of the students start taking drugs and alcohol simply for enjoyment. However, their use may be started because of class differences. If a student from an affluent family takes a drug, the one belonging to the middle class may be enticed to use it as well. Unemployment, poverty, frustration, etc. are also some of the main reasons for taking drugs and alcohol during youth since they feel that it can ward off tensions and worries.

The condition in Northeastern states of India, particularly in Manipur and Nagaland, is very disturbing. In a study of selected villages in Nagaland and Manipur, alcohol was found to be used by 74 per cent of the people above 15 years. Recently, a leading newspaper undertook a study on the consumption of alcohol in two states, viz. Nagaland and Manipur. As many as 10 crore bottles of country made liquor and 2 crores of those of beer were consumed in just one year in these two states.

“Drug addiction and alcoholism is a disease, so it needs proper treatment like any other diseases,” feels Velhou Koza, who is pursuing his Ph.D on the topic ‘Consequences of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism on Naga Society’, under the supervision of Professor Lanunungsang from Nagaland University, under the department of Sociology.

Koza informs that it is mainly affecting people in the age group of 15 to 30 years. However, he continues that teenagers are most prone to it. He adds that youths generally start taking drugs and alcohol due to family problems or lack of entertainment avenues, and most are school and college dropouts. He also discloses that there are many hidden female drug dependents in the state. Making a mention that the increase in social crimes such as robbery, extortion, domestic violence, accidents, rape, etc. are all due to drug and alcohol, Koza opines that the state government will continue with its prohibition. Stating that these problems are widespread in all villages of the state, he says that drug and alcohol are affecting the individual, family and the society at large.

For Koza, the spread of HIV/AIDS is also attributed to drug and alcohol use since most people do not have the sense to practise safe sex under their influence. Conveying the feelings of some drug dependents and alcoholics, he says that most of them feel that they are neglected or looked down by the society.

To save the younger generation from these social maladies, Koza suggests that the society should understand the problems of drug dependents and alcoholics – the society should be made aware of its hazards and people should show concern for them instead of discouraging them. While expressing his hope, Koza says that social organisations must come forward to create awareness among youth regarding these two major problems.

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Source: Morung Express