Aizawl: At least 45 people, including four women, have died due to substance abuse in Mizoram between January and August this year with heroin being the main killer drug, an official said on Thursday.
Excise and Narcotics Department’s Assistant Commissioner Peter Zohmingthanga said 55 people, including 13 women, died due to drug abuse in 2019.
Most of the drugs, especially heroin, were smuggled from Myanmar, he told PTI.
Mizoram, which is sandwiched between Myanmar and Bangladesh, has been grappling with drug abuse since 1984 when the death of a heroin user was reported for the first time in the state.
The hilly state shares 722 km of the international border with these two countries.
Around 80 per cent of those died of drug abuse this year were addicted to heroin, he said.
Until 2015, spasmo proxyvon, which is used as a pain- killer, had caused maximum drug-related deaths in the state.
With an increasing supply of heroin from Myanmar and neighbouring states, it has become the main killer drug, the official said.
The Excise and Narcotics Department’s data showed at least 1,624 people, including 191 women, have died of drug abuse in Mizoram since 1984.
The state government has been taking several measures to curb the menace, Zohmingthanga said.
In a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease, international and inter-state borders have been sealed since March, which has considerably reduced drug and alcohol supplies, he said.
The excise department has also launched a massive anti-drug campaign this year.
The department had on Monday seized 69 grams of heroin and arrested four persons in this connection, he added.