NEWS KASHMIR EXCLUSIVE
Drug addiction is defined as compulsive and out-of-control drug use, despite negative consequences. In the last few decades, drug addiction has increased exponentially in the Kashmir valley.
Sometime back, as per the survey conducted by United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), there are 70,000 drug addicts in Kashmir alone, out of which 4000 are women. As per the survey, 65 to 70% of students in Kashmir are drug addicts.
The growing use of Heroin as drug among youth of Kashmir is cause of worry. From North to South Kashmir to Central Kashmir whole Kashmir is worst hit by the menace of rising Drug addiction.
As per the statistics issued by Government Psychiatric disease hospital, Rainawari, 90% drug users are in the age group of 17 to 35 years with a lifetime prevalence of drug addiction. Official records at the centre, which is run by the Department of Psychiatry at SMHS Hospital, reveal that out of 342 people admitted for substance abuse from 1 January 2019 to 20 June 2019, at least 309 (90.3 per cent) were abusing heroin in “some or the other form”.
A recent survey by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) says 4.9 percent of J&K population has been abusing opioid drugs. But mental health workers and doctors consider even this alarming number an underestimate.
In February this year, the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, submitted its report “Magnitude of Substance Use in India”.
Prominent activist Shabir Ahmad Shabir who is running a Rahat drug de-addiction, while talking to the News Kashmir magazine state “ The host of factors are responsible for rising drug abuse and addiction in Kashmir . The worst hit are the teenagers and youth of Kashmir. The factors responsible are easy availability of drug outside educational , residential areas of Kashmir .The lack of action against the drug peddlers has also compounded the problems . Peer pressure is also responsible . Peer pressure can cause teens to engage in risky behaviors, leading to substance abuse. In some cases lack of good parenting is also leading to drug abuse and also the factor of bad company . We should appreciate that since the two deaths in last few weeks related to drug addiction the police has swung into action. Police alone cannot solve the drug addiction problem as it is duty of entire society to end this menace .
It is unfortunate that we do not have a concrete survey yet done to know the real magnitude of drug addiction problem but without doubt ground situation suggests post 2016 it has become a multi headed monster . The society also does not come forward to help drug de addiction centres like us but both society and government are failing us. We are fighting a lone battle .”