SHILLONG, June 15 � The Central Government has expressed �serious concern� over the rise of drug abusers in the country, especially in the North East and western part of India.
Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot said here today, �instead of decreasing, the number of drug abusers is especially high in the North East and Western India.�
Ghelot was here to inaugurate the first regional workshop on prevention of substance (drugs) abuse. The western region�s proximity to the opium cultivation areas called the Golden Crescent countries (Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan) has made drugs accessible there. Youths are getting into drugs in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and others.
Similarly, the North East�s proximity to the Golden Triangle countries (Myanmar-Laos-Thailand) has led to increase of drug abuse in the region. Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram are the worst affected.
Although there is difficulty on getting an exact number of drug abusers in the country, Ghelot said, his Ministry is coordinating with NGOS to get the figures.
�It is difficult to conduct a survey because those who abuse drug don�t come forward. In 20015-16 we would renew our efforts to get some official figure,� he said.
The Union Minister informed 12 NGOs were designated to assist the government to help fight drug abuse. Out of these 12, three are from the NE, working in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
Gehlot further promised the Meghalaya Government to establish a medical treatment centre for women drug abusers. He made the promise after State Social Welfare Minister Deborah C Marak said the number of women drug abusers was increasing in Meghalaya.