National

Morang Police to continue drive against narcotics use

  • Counselling helped 1,678 drug users in three months
- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Feb 27, 2019-

After the success of a 90-day campaign to prevent the use of narcotics, the Morang District Police is planning to make it a permanent mission.

According to the Morang police, the plan to make the campaign permanent came after the report of the 90-day drive showed that counselling played an important role to discourage youths, who were mostly using Jogbani, a border point between Biratnagar and India, to get access to drugs.

“Since bringing drugs inside the country was difficult, the youths would go to India via the open border to take drugs,” said DSP Ghanashyam Shrestha, spokesperson of the Morang District Police. “As the 90-day campaign showed a positive result, we plan to continue the campaign.”

During the campaign, which ran from September 10 to December 17 last year, a total of 1,678 individuals were provided with counselling. Among them, 164 were  below the age of 18, 860 were between the age of 19-25, 376 were between 26-30, 183 were between 31-35, and 95 were above 36 years.

During the campaign, experts from the district police, rehabilitation centres and treatment centres used to counsel the individuals regarding the effects of drugs in their life, health and family.

Among the 1,678 individuals, 145 were students, 537 labourers, 41 professionals, 524 business owners, 25 farmers, 123 were jobless, and the occupation of 283 is unknown.

“As the majority of drug users were below the age of 25, counselling has been preferred rather than keeping them in custody and ruining their future. On the other hand, most of the users had recently started taking drugs so counselling played a vital role to wean them off their habits,” said DSP Shrestha.

According to the district police, a total of 1,466 drug users were addicted to prescription drugs such as Diazepam, an antidepressant, while the remaining were habitual users of cannabis, brown sugar and synthetic drugs. The report also shows that 1,095 individuals had started taking drugs within the last five years.

According to the individuals, most of them used to receive drugs from smugglers, while some got them from their friends at the other side of the border.

However, 97 percent of the individuals were influenced by their friends to start using drugs and a total of 1,203 individuals said they used drugs for ‘pleasure’.

“The regular users were either sent to rehabilitation centres or hospitals for treatment,” said Shrestha. “The individuals were only allowed to leave after their parents or close relatives came to receive them. We also request the parents and relatives to counsel their closed ones on the effects of drugs.”

Recently, the district police has been lobbying with the Biratnagar Metropolitan City and other concerned stakeholders to operate the campaign effectively as a part of the Community-Police Partnership Programme.

“If all the required procedures are met in time, we will start the campaign within a month. We are planning to provide counselling services to drug users arrested in other parts of the district as well,” said Shrestha.

Published: 27-02-2019 08:43

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