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Dimapur: The Catholic Association of Nagaland during the ongoing debate on the lifting of alcohol prohibition in Nagaland said that there should be an approach of harm reduction over demand or supply reduction and also enacting new laws for the supply of good quality alcohol with a controlled mechanism.

A statement by the Catholic Association of Nagaland stated that following the Catholic Social Teaching under the principle of Participation, human beings are social, and how we live together affects the dignity of the individual and the progress of society. 

“All persons are entitled to participate in the community, and in decisions that affect their lives, and cannot be excluded for any reason”, the statement added.

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It added that participation is a duty to be fulfilled consciously by all, with responsibility and a view to the common good. 

Further, the CAN opined the following points:

1. The Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1989 may be readdressed with the cardinal objective of evolving laws or acts of the Government which will promote a “Common Good” for all people.

2. The Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1989 should be reviewed with the principle of “Do No Harm” or “Harm Reduction” approaches.

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3. New laws/acts may be enacted which will allow the supply of good quality alcohol with a controlled mechanism.

4. The Government of Nagaland should be informed that the use and consumption of alcohol exist all over the world. And there are only three levels to address the issue;

a) Supply Reduction

b) Demand Reduction

c) Harm Reduction.

5. When people want alcohol, they will still find a way to get them by any means. Therefore, reduction of supply and reduction demand had been a battle that many governments and societies had struggled to manage and never succeeded in the world. Reduction of supply and demand policies such as NLTP Act 1989 will cost multi resources with no output or little result.

6. The Catholic Association of Nagaland proposes the Government of Nagaland on NLTP Act, 1989 to focus on Harm Reduction strategies of alcohol menace to reduce the harms on social, economic and health of the community associated with alcohol consumption.

The CAN said that it advocates harm reduction because this strategy is a proven approach as it works all over the world. 

“Hard Reduction strategy controls the supply and demand of Alcohol and also save lives. This strategy is a way of life”, CAN added.

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The association also assured the Government of Nagaland that it will continue to support the plans and policies of the Government. 

“Catholic families and members shall be conscientious on the issues of responsible alcohol consumption and the duties and responsibilities as a citizen of the State”, it added.

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