Sunday, February 25, 2024

Meghalaya CM launches ‘DREAM’ to eliminate drug abuse, trafficking


Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday launched the DREAM (Drug Reduction, Elimination & Action Mission) programme to fight against drug abuse and trafficking in the State.
The programme was launched on occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking during a function organized by the Meghalaya Police and social welfare department on the theme ‘People First: Stop Stigma & Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention’.
The vision of the targeted mission is to build a ‘Drug free Meghalaya’ that leverages culture and communities through a multifaceted coordinated strategy to eliminate the incidence of substance use in the state.
Chief Minister Sangma highlighted the devastating effects of drug abuse, not only on individuals but also on families and society as a whole. Recognizing the crucial role of the youth in building a better future, he stressed the importance of collective action and community engagement in preventing drug abuse.
“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.
“I have full faith in the DREAM, which is a meticulously planned initiative with a budget allocation of Rs 50 crores for five years. This comprehensive program has been designed to achieve tangible results through targeted interventions and strategic implementation,” he said and appealed to religious organizations, NGOs, and all citizens to prioritize the fight against drug abuse.
“All the welfare and developmental programs and policies of the government will be meaningless if the youth are inflicted with drugs, which destroy not only the abuser but the families, the society and the future,” he cautioned. As part of the lifecycle approach of the State Health Policy, DREAM has been built upon the existing Drug Abuse Prevention Policy, 2020 towards providing the youth with greater capabilities and opportunities to realize their potential, rather than falling into debt trap activities.
State Director General of Police Lajja Ram Bishnoi spoke on the vulnerabilities of Meghalaya due to its geographical location, ease of availability, and social factors contributing to drug abuse and underscored the importance of collaborative efforts, interstate cooperation, and capacity building to combat this menace.
Commissioner and secretary, social welfare department, Pravin Bakshi said, “The statistics regarding tobacco and alcohol consumption are deeply concerning. It is imperative that we take immediate action to address these issues and protect our citizens from the harmful effects of substance abuse”.

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