Over the past few years, the trend of marijuana among the younger generation has opened new possibilities and more accessibility to other drugs like codeine, heroin and even cocaine. The market for these drugs have increased enormously in Nagaland. Kids as young as 16-17 yo are inhaling/injecting heroin and experimenting with the high. While a large portion of the youth are consuming codeine phosphate in the form of Cough Syrup.
With the availability of drugs in every nook and corner, many of the youths today are getting addicted and it's not going to be easy for them to come off clean. You would not believe it if you saw how many youths are abusing drugs today, especially codeine and heroin. It is a very sad and horrendous picture. If this goes on, we are going to lose so many lives which will result in leadership crisis. On the other hand, there is a rise in drug peddling where many of our youths are indulged in, up to the extent that they're making a living by selling drugs. Everyone of us has that friend who knows someone who can get any type of drugs. All those shady corners in a busy market becomes their hotspot to sell drugs and some are very innovative to even provide home delivery with COD, using SIM cards from black market to communicate. What they don't know is that this drug dealing business is a dangerous one and will end up with you being locked up in jail or killed.
Opioid substances like heroin are very addictive that with once or twice use, you'll get hooked up with the drug. What's more worse is the withdrawal effect because if you suddenly stop consuming those drugs, your body will start misbehaving and result in nausea, headache, vomiting, cold and feverish, body ache, laziness, sleeping disorder and immune system becomes weak. One thing more stronger than drug itself is peer pressure, it is so strong that even a clean and innocent guy who almost flies off to heaven in windy days will start using drugs. Every friends circle has that one friend who is very curious to try everything and also make you try it. That’s how it begins. Since the drug abusers don't want to go to rehab or disclose their bad habit, they stay low and become shady. Unless they behave very weird or obvious, people will not notice them getting hooked up with drugs. These are the two main reasons why.
1. Drugs like heroin are in powder form and one can hide it literally anywhere. From that small rectangular pocket in your jeans to between the books. So it's easy for them to carry around or sneak pass security guards.
2. It does not have specific characteristics like alcohol which have strong odour or walking like crab when drunk. These drugs just plays with the mind of the user and not exhibit noticeable characteristics.
It's all fun and games until they are really addicted to these drugs that they even start selling their clothes and other possessions like phone and watches and then start stealing before they die. Such incidents have happened many times in our society but hardly anyone pays attention. Most of the apex bodies are busy destroying breezer, beer and wine bottles.
Note: I have not made a thorough or formal research on this but I have been following this issue for quite a while and even encountered many individuals and incidents. So, my data might not be precise but it's not false either.
Akho Krome Naga
As long as liquor prohibition is in place, the rise of drugs and other substance abuse will increase. This will only add more fuel to the already alarming fire.
I see that the only Hope left in us is to lift the ban and regulate the law that is practical and applicable both to the consumers and the dealers. The society at large should digest that the failure of NLTPA is heading towards a more dangerous situation than actually solving the problem.
It is only through admission/submission of our failures that solution will come about if we bow our heads together and work towards realistic environment.
Also substance abuse changes with the environment as you go...
If you are in Kohima/Dimapur, you have no choice to go beyond cheap rum and whiskey.
If you are in Guwahati or Assam, you probably go for branded whiskey or beer. If you are in Senapati Manipur, you must be kidding if you didn't taste Sigmei (Roxy).
This is because local situation compels on the one hand, on the other, money matters and still on the other, availability of the product speaks.
Linda Lowe Johnson
We have met many young Naga people who started to abuse medicinal drugs from the age of 9 and 10. Bored young people often find that providing drugs to young kids is a good source of income. Boredom/ lack of healthy entertainment or employment is a BIG problem in any society but particularly in Nagaland where unemployment is a real issue. Praying for this to change.
The articles in this column are compiled by The Naga Blog administrators.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Naga Blog.