TINSUKIA: The privately managed only de-addiction centre in Upper Assam- New Life Foundation located at Margherita in Tinsukia district -is in dire straits as the number of drug addicts seeking treatment at the de-addiction centre increased manifold in recent times following intensive crackdown on drug peddlers by police in Tinsukia and neighbouring districts, including Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
Foundation's Rupam Gogoi told media persons at Margherita on Sunday that during the past two months, as many as 250 youths took admission while 22 girls from the Northeast have been undergoing de-addiction therapy. Presently, the centre accommodated 550 addicts, some of them belonging to Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, Gogoi said. He informed further that though the cost of the treatment varied from Rs 7,000 to Rs 10,000 per month, many guardians were financially weak and unable to bear the cost. Thus, the Foundation had to provide free food and treatment to those people, Gogoi said. He along with secretary Rupam Choudhury informed that the centre was successful in treating more than 1,200 drug abused persons since it was established in 2015, having its branches in Tinsukia, Kakopathar, Talap, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh and Dhemaji. They also told that few recovered patients were not only supporting the centre financially but also inspiring others.
In the event of severe financial crisis, Saroj Gohain, advisor of the Foundation who was also present in the press meet, fervently appealed to the government and general public to extend help to the centre in order to make a drug-free society. Irked by negative publicity and propaganda, Gohain was critical of a section of drug mafia, who along with few media persons, allegedly attempted to malign the centre.