Shillong(Meghalaya), June 26 : The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking organized by Meghalaya Police in collaboration with Social Welfare Department was observed here today at U Soso Tham Auditorium.
The Chief Guest, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, in his address said that the government is making concerted efforts to ensure that Meghalaya is a drug free state. “Our policies and programs are designed in such a way that we keep the people who matter in the center therefore this initiative of having a dedicated team against drug abuse and illicit trafficking is a part of a larger strategy of a fight not only against drug abuse but the wellbeing of our youth,” he said.
He added that observing the International Day against Drug Abuse is a part of a larger plan to ensure that productive, responsible, healthy youth are produced for the future of the state. “All the welfare and developmental programs and policies of the government will be meaningless if the youth are inflicted with drugs. Drugs destroys not only the abuser but the families, the society and the future,” he added.
Commending the work of the Police department in successfully nabbing drug dealers and consignments worth crores in the past few months the Chief Minister urged the department to continue their work to control and end the menace of drug abuse in the State. “While the enforcement agencies are doing their work we need to ensure that the 40,500 youth who are totally dependent on drugs are treated with empathy and taken care of so that they can integrate back into society as responsible and productive citizens,” he said.
Highlighting about DREAM, Drug Reduction, Elimination and Action Mission, that the Chief Minister had launched earlier, he said that the operational cost for the implementation of DREAM is ten crores per annum which works out to fifty crores for the next five years.
“Different rehabilitation centers and detoxification centers will be established and NGOs will be financially assisted for treatment and rehabilitation and outreach programs,” he said. He also appealed to the NGOs, religious and academic institutions, community leaders and bodies to make the fight against drug abuse one of their priority agenda.
The Drug Reduction, Elimination and action Mission (DREAM) builds on the Meghalaya Drug Abuse Prevention Policy, 2020 to reach the goal of eliminating drug use in the state. It leverages culture and communities through a multifaceted coordinating strategy to eliminate the incidence of substance use in the state.
The Chief Minister also launched the Drug Free Meghalaya App, handed over the Drug Detection Kits to Anti-Narcotics Task Force, felicitated NGOs, individuals and ANTF for their efforts against drug abuse and released the song “Turn the Tide” by Khaki Vibes.
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, DGP, Meghalaya, Dr L R Bishnoi, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Dr Shakeel P Ahammad, senior police officials, officers from Social Welfare department and students from various schools were also present for the occasion.