Making steps towards drug free lives

ARK Foundation sensitises on substance abuse, prevention, management and co-morbidities

DIMAPUR, JANUARY 17 (MExN): The ARK Foundation with support from the Nagaland Social Welfare Department conducted three programmes on substance abuse prevention, management and co-morbidities. 

The programmes were held as part of the Drug Free India campaign. 

While two programmes were conducted virtually on January 13 with drug users and in partnership with NEDHIV Tuli and YMS Tamlu TI projects, the third programme was conducted on January 16 held at the office of the OST centre, Wokha District Hospital.

Ketho Angami, President, ARK foundation, speaking as the resource person emphasised on the nature of drug use and its harmful effects on the individual and the society at large. 

He defined “addiction” as a disease that affects the person in all round dimension and that people start this habit out of various reasons and gradually become dependent. This results in disrupting the entire life and well being of the person including their family. 

He encouraged people to never initiate the first use of drugs by never getting introduced to any sort of addictive substance while also urging those who are already in the habit to seek timely interventions and recover from the disease.  

Further, Angami also shared that drug use is a dangerous habit as during the course of the addictive days, drug users come across various risk factors such as deaths because of an overdose, likelihood of HIV, Viral Hepatitis and TB infection on a daily basis. 

While waiting for the time to quit the habit, it is important to keep away from such adverse affects drugs and also to keep away from such co morbidities, he mentioned while speaking about drug use in relation to HIV, Viral Hepatitis B and C, and TB. 

In his briefing on all these diseases, Angami stated that the main concern is the lack of awareness and the information which results in the spread. He added that there is also the challenge for easy access to all such test and treatment facilities in Nagaland. 

With regard to prevention, testing and treatment, the ARK Foundation President underscored the need to always follow preventive measures. He said those who have practiced risk behaviours in the past should have access to all such services which are being initiated as part of national programs and therefore encouraged the participants to seek early tests and treatment. 

On the subject of drug overdose, he said it is reversible and that human lives should not be lost due to overdose. He stated that people who experienced an overdose can be made to recover by following the ‘recovery position’ and administration of Naloxone. However, he lamented non availability and lack of access in the state. Therefore he said it is always a better idea to prevent the likelihood of an overdose.

Angami reiterated that if drug users work towards achieving a drug free life, all such risks will cease to exist, and therefore he shared that recovery from addiction is possible. There are treatment facilities and various services available in Nagaland which can be availed thereby opening the doors to leading a drug free life. 

His final message to the participants was that just as drug use is a process so also is recovery. “There will be failures but one should not give up hope as recovery from drug use is possible,” he encouraged.