In an ambitious move to combat drug menace in the border state, the Mizoram government has sent 30 employees of various de-addiction centres in the state to a training-cum-rehabilitation centre in a Chennai-based hospital-cum-research institute for a nine-day intensive training, an official release said on Thursday.
The release said the staff would get lessons and guidance in clinical duties, medical and psychological handling of drug-addict patients at Chennai’s institute.
“After completion of nine-day training, these employees would be engaged in de-addiction and other such works in the state,” the release said.
The Mizoram government has already prepared a detailed road-map for strengthening the existing de-addiction centers with the addition of new such centers.
The Social Defence and Rehabilitation Board under Social Welfare department of the state government is the nodal wing to supervise the scheme.
An official of the Social Welfare department said the ruling Mizo National Front, as part of its pre-poll manifesto, was determined to eradicate the drug menace.
“Various high-dose drugs are being smuggled from the neighbouring Myanmar, making drug addiction a serious problem coupled with the spread of AIDS,” the official added.
According to government record at least 1,529 people, including 173 women have died due to drug abuse in Mizoram since 1984.
“Mizoram has witnessed an increase in drug-related deaths over the past three years with heroin emerging as the biggest killer drug,” the official document said.
At least 2,327 people, including 29 foreign nationals, mostly Myanmarese, were arrested by various agencies in drug-related cases last year.
Mizoram has an unfenced international border of 510 km with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh. The Border Security Force has been guarding the Bangladesh border and the Assam Rifles troopers were posted in the Myanmar border.