Darjeeling Hills under ‘overdose’ ill

Statesman News Service
KALIMPONG, May 30. — Suman Rai (name changed to protect identity) was seen loitering on the outskirts of the town on the night of 25 May. A couple of hours later, on the very next morning, residents of 8 Mile found him dead on the floor. The cause though is believed to be OD (a commonly used phrase which means overdose) due to heavy intake of drugs.
This is just one of the many instances that those living in the Darjeeling Hills have witnessed over the decades.
A resident of East Main road area, Rai, like many others was into heavy substance dependency. It may be recalled that just a couple of weeks ago, four reputed medical shops – all at a distance of just 100 metres from the Kalimpong police station – were found guilty of selling drugs to the youths. Had it been an instance of merely allegations then the matter would have been different, but, significantly it was the law enforcement department which had caught them red handed.
They were then referred to the drugs control directorate, which later served them with show cause notices. But neither the people nor the media were informed about any follow-ups.
“Selling of such drugs simply means business to them”, Simon Pradhan (name changed), a youth, said. “But the damage done is immense”, he added. Among the common joints, is the walls of the super market at Thana Dara, that is usually stuffed with bottles of codeine Phenseydel, Corex or the now commonly used Exebrawn.
Despite the concern that the administration has shown, substance dependency is in-fact one of the major tribulations that has engulfed the hills of Darjeeling. Unfortunately, the use of narcotics mainly brown sugar has slowly spreading here. According to sources, drugs mainly the painkiller, ‘spasmo proxyvon’, are being sold at Rs 80 for a strip comprising 8 capsules.

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