SHILLONG, JUNE 7: Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh on Wednesday informed that the department will soon conduct a fresh survey on the population of drug users.
Speaking to reporters, Lyngdoh said there are over 2.5 lakh drug users in the state as per statistics readily available with the department.
â€œThese are figures (2.5 lakh) of the department and they are of three years ago and what I am saying is that we need to update these figures so let the new director (of the department) take over and then we can begin the fresh survey,â€ he said.
He also said, â€œConsidering the fact that most of these drug users are youths who are in their 20s upto 30s very productive age and also that we have even not just boy, even girls indulging in drug abuse and this is again link to diseases like HIV/AIDs and general lack of direction in life for these people. So we will be advocating for more awareness programmes and we will certainly pay more attention to this aspect.â€
Lyngdoh said the government will intensify its action plan on rehabilitation of members of the society who have gone in the wrong way adding â€œwe should be able to cover the entire state in the next six months.â€
When asked, he said, â€œWe intend to set up more rehab centres. The only issue here is the exorbitant rate charged by private sectors on this, the government has to step in but as I had just taken over it is not even three months, we will certainly give this all the required attention and we will certain be able to initiate our own rehab centres at least beginning with the state capital.â€
Meanwhile, the minister also asserted the need to strengthen the rules of the NDPS Act for empowering the police to effectively deal with drug trafficking.