Matters India |Friday, December 15, 2017
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Survey reveals ‘shocking’ facts about drug use in Mizoram 

Aizawl: Baseline Survey on Extent and Pattern of Drug Use in Mizoram, the first complete survey of drug use in the state, has revealed many shocking facts about drug abuse in Mizoram, said social welfare department secretary P Lalchhuanga.

The state’s social welfare department has just completed the baseline survey, making Mizoram the first state in India to conduct such a complete survey on drug abuse, SWD officials said and thanked the state government for funding the survey.

During a discussion on the findings of the survey at Aijal Club last Friday, the SWD secretary said the survey revealed many shocking facts about drug abuse in Mizoram and showed the need and urgency to fight drug abuse on a war footing.

The survey was carried out in all the eight districts of Mizoram by 32 researchers, interviewing 2633 drug users whose average was 28.

Of the 2,633 drug users interviewed, 80 per cent were males, 10 percent were females and one percent were transgenders.

Most of the drug users said they started doing drugs after seven to 12 years since they started schooling, and most of them started smoking before they doing drugs.

The survey revealed that 81.6 per cent of drug users were jobless while 32 percent drug users among males had permanent jobs. Among the female drug users, 12.9 per cent sold drugs and 33 per cent were commercial sex workers.

Pharmaceutical opioids are the commonest abused drugs in Mizoram, followed by heroin, sedative drugs and inhalants (volatile solvents).

Of the drug users interviewed, 49.5 per cent were singles while 24.2 per cent were divorcees. Another 20.7 per cent of drug users were married. It was also revealed that three-fourths of the drug users still lived with their parents. 78.6 per cent of the injecting drug users said drug was introduced to them by their friends, of these 65.8 per cent used shared syringes with their friends.

The survey also revealed that 48 per cent of the drug users were getting treatment from OPDs in different hospitals while 39.9 per cent were getting treatment from IPDs. Another 35 percent were getting OST (Opioid Substitution Treatment).

Overdose was commonest among heroin users with 47 per cent followed by detro-propoxyphene (like spasmo- proxyvon and parvon spas). Of the drug users who were overdosed, only 3.2 per cent got naxolone injection, which is the best treatment for opioid overdose.

Revealing that most of the female drug users were jobless, the survey suggested that providing jobs to them would reduce drug use among females, Nagalandpost reported.

The survey also emphasized the importance of providing education to the youths and prevent them from using tobacco at early age to reduce drug abuse among youngsters.

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