Prohibition of opioid analgesics following heroin seizures at Mizoram

The amount of heroin seized in Mizoram has been steadily increasing since 2014, when the state government replaced the total ban with a controlled ban.

While law enforcement officials attribute this trend to the ban on the sale of pain capsules containing Dextropropoxyphene opioid in 2013, the Church – influential in the Christian dominated Mizoram – remains skeptical about this "theory". According to the Church, seizures of heroin have undermined the government's claim that alcohol helps people wean themselves off drugs.

Detectives from the Mizoram Department of Excise and Drugs seized 3,126 kg of heroin in 2014, the year in which the Lal Thanhawla Congress Government enacted the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition and Control Law ( alcohol) aimed at ending 18 years of prohibition imposed on the church to consume alcohol.

On a little over 4 kg in 2015 and 2016, the total of seizures in 2017 rose to 6,186 kg. And this year, with 6.173 kg already seized until October, the figure will only be higher.

"We have reason to believe that seizures and heroin use have increased because addicts no longer receive painkillers like Spasmo Proxyvon, Parvon Spas and Spasmocip with high dextropropoxyphene content … banned there five years ago, "said Ngurchungnunga Sailo, commissioner at the Mizoram Excise and Narcotics.

Officials said the addicts emptied the contents of the capsules into a solution and injected it into their bloodstream at high temperatures. While the opioid dose cost no more than US $ 50 for an addict, one gram of heroin at Aizawl or elsewhere in Mizoram costs up to £ 4,000.

Although Indian pharmaceutical companies stopped production of dextropropoxyphene capsules in 2013, the products continued to enter the market – with 4,034 capsules seized in 2017, up from 7,400 in 2016.

"Fortunately, Mizoram does not have an organized drug trafficking network," Sailo said, adding, "There are individuals who are smuggling narcotic drugs from Myanmar."

In addition to the people of Myanmar, Myanmar nationals are also involved in drug trafficking. Of the 553 people arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 this year, 23 were foreigners.

Excise officials have stated that there is still no scientific evidence linking the seizure of drugs to the government's alcohol policy.

Church "confirmed"

But the church, which in the run-up to the November 28 Assembly election in the state, urged political parties to push for prohibition, is convinced that the availability of alcohol not necessarily to fight against drug addiction.

"We hired university professors for a study on the effect of controlled prohibition," said Reverend B. Sangthanga, executive secretary of the Mizoram Synod of the Presbyterian Church. "The conclusion was that alcohol had really damaged the Mizo company in terms of depletion of financial resources, domestic violence, increased drug abuse and HIV / AIDS cases. AIDS, "he observed.

The government, for its part, commissioned a study from a 27-member review and appraisal committee, which examined the pros and cons of opening wine stores in the United States. # 39; State. The study, released in July, found that for every $ 1 of alcohol revenue, about $ 2.85 was spent on social costs.