Despite being officially a dry-sate for the last three decades, however, in Nagaland alcoholism and substance abuse has shown a rising trend.
Senior psychiatrist Dr C Kezo while speaking at the launch of North Eat Artist Network (NEAN) in Dimapur on Friday (July 19, 2019).
NEAN is an initiative under Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, 1989, which would primarily focus on health issues and social problems associated with alcoholism in consonance with the needs of users.
The various activities to be covered under the initiative include prevention, education and awareness programmes, setting up group support, sensitisation programmes, counselling, case study, information, education & communication and detoxification camps.
“Alcohol-related ailments in Nagaland can be viewed as an evergreen disease. Among the total patients received by District Hospital Dimapur (DHD) every year, almost 50 per cent patients are observed to be suffering from ailments due to excess alcoholism,” Dr Kezo, who works at the DHD, said.
“A majority of alcoholic persons are found within the 18-60 years age group,” he added
He further asserted that since alcohol is “prohibited” in the state, it has only increased the sale of spurious alcohol by bootleggers.
“The NLPT Act must be implemented properly and stop the bootleggers from taking advantage,” he stressed.
It is worth mentioning here that northeast India predominantly is a tribal-dominated area and alcohol is a part of northeast’s custom and traditions as each ethnic community has its own local brew.
However, studies show that the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) is more consumed by the people rather than the ethnic brews and in Nagaland, it is not an exception as well.
Alcohol is one of the oldest psychoactive substance consumed by the people across the globe and alcohol de-addiction is one of the stringent challenges the world currently faces.
In his speech, Dr Kezo said that alcohol abuse has “always posed a serious threat to public health”.
“Alcohol de-addiction is a challenge for the people of the state. Even though it is a touch difficult, however, it is not impossible. Medication and motivation need to work in tandem if one wishes to De-addict from alcohol use,” observed Dr Kezo.
(Inputs from Nagaland Post)