Drug users, including youth and old men, have increased every year in Namhsan, Kutekai, Namkham and Man Ton Townships. Apart from Northern Shan State in Moegoke Township and Namsan(South), Kalaw and Yetsout in Southern Shan State have also increased. Drug addiction leads to many problems in families. More and more families in these areas are upset about the increased drug use.
“There are many drug users in my village, most youth are drug addicts and just a few youth don’t use drugs. Mothers worry about their sons and husbands. Many people use amphetamines and heroin. If they use drugs, they don’t want to work for their family anymore and they just work to get money to buy drugs. When they don’t have money to buy drugs, they steal things from their families. If they don’t have anything to steal, they borrow money from relatives and friends and their parents have to pay back their borrowed money.
Even though drug addiction has increased over the years, no drug eradication groups ar ein Namkham.
“After the 2010 election, the drug users are increasing. Before the election, I didn’t see the drug users increase. I don’t see the drug eradication groups come to our area and I never heard about the drug eradication group. I cannot say what percent of people are using drugs in my village. I just see everyone are starting to use drugs–from teenagers to 50 year old men. There are only about ten people in my village who don’t use drugs” said one Namkham villager.
“There are drug users in southern Shan State but I don’t see information about that in the media and people think there are only problems in the northern Shan State. I am dissapointed because of the drug problem. Before, I never heard about robberies–now, even longyi and clothing is stolen by drug users. We worry about this all the time” said another villager.
Because of drug addiction, youth become hopeless and have no security in the village. Often, domestic violence occurs. Drug eradication programs are needed.
“If we have eradication groups, I want them to help us to solve the drug problem because our people are very troubled because of the drugs. Now youth become hopeless and our Ta’ang people will disappear because of drugs so we should solve this drug problem” said one villager from southern Shan State.
“There are many people who use drugs in my hometown in Moegoke. They use heroin, opium and amphetamine. There is no drug eradication group in our area. We also need to eradicate the drug problem in Moegoke” said one villager from Moegoke.
Information and Documentation Research Department
Palaung Women’s Organizaion