Peer pressure and the easy availability of all sorts of narcotics are some of the reasons that have made women fall prey to drug abuse in the north eastern parts of the country, experts said Wednesday.
“Peer pressure, availability of all sorts of narcotic drugs in the region and to have that out of the world feeling take people, especially the youth, towards drug abuse,” Jayabrata of Tripura, who helped in collecting data on drug addicts for a report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told IANS.
Deb Laxmi, a Manipuri woman who also helped the UNODC in collecting data on drug addicts from her state for the report, told IANS that women and young girls are getting attracted towards drugs in large numbers and the authorities “must do something” about it.
She also identified peer pressure as one of the main factors for girls and the youth getting into drug abuse.
The experts, including officials and NGOs providing support to the affected people, while releasing a UNODC report – “Women who use drugs in North-East India” – here said it is a serious problem and needs to be looked into immediately.
Speaking on the occasion, senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes said the study would help law makers to make good use of resources to deal with the problem.
“It’s a social problem and we parliamentarians are ready to help,” Fernandes said.
Kiran Bedi, a former IPS officer, while addressing the function said proper coordination is required to deal with the problem.
Coordination among ministries and the concerned working groups is the key, she said.
“Once (a committee or a group) formed at the national level, it should go to state level and from there to the district level and finally at the grass root that is village level,” she said, adding that people working for the drug addicts should connect with social bodies.
The former police officer, who served in many north eastern areas, said that decentralisation of resources and therapy for the affected are also some of the significant ways of dealing with the problem.
Binalakshmi Nepram, humanitarian, author and civil rights activist from Manipur, said the intention of the report is good but it should have been published under some other suitable headline instead of “Women who use drugs in North-East India”, as it could hurt their sentiments for being singled out.