Drug abuse and illicit trafficking: How to curb it ?

Rayees Ahmad Kumar

There is a growing concern over the rise in the number of drug abusers all over the world, which in turn leading to the loss of life and crime. It is a growing nuisance in many societies as school and college going youth who have become addicted, now have no regard for life. Drug abuse doesn’t necessarily mean using drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, sedative hypnotics but also certain medications like painkillers, sleeping pills and tranquilizers. Each year on June 26 , the International Day Against The Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed to strengthen global action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. It aims to raise awareness to fight against the substance abuse as well as unlawful trade of drugs. Drug abuse is one of the most serious health problems. Besides causing serious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, it has several side effects in the form of economic loss, antisocial behaviour such as stealing, violence and crime besides social stigma and over all downfall of society. On daily basis we come to know through social, print and electronic media about the number of theft incidents/ reports from all corners of the valley. Sometimes these are reported from the domestic side/ house owners while on other occasions there are reports about the stealing of donations from Muslim shrines, Mosques and Temples. A number of times the culprits damaged and steal money from different ATM machines also. After being booked and after proper investigations they have revealed their nature of drug addiction. In various South Kashmir areas, cannabis and opium is cultivated on vast pieces of land. State police and excise department officials have a number of times destroyed the illegal cultivation of banned crops on several acres of land particularly during the tenure of then SDPO Zainapora Mr Irshad Rather. His efforts were widely hailed and acclaimed by the societal groups. State police has in every district then opened drug de-addiction centres with the only intention to restrict the growing youth from being engaged in drug addiction and through proper guidance and counseling these youth are encouraged to be involved in healthy hobbies, games and supports and are taught some skills also so that their earning doesn’t become an issue after being relieved from the de-addiction centres. Both parents and teachers can play a leading role in this endeavour.

In order to curb the drug abuse, strong laws must be legislated both at union and state/UT levels against this menace and then strictly enforced. The laws already in vague must be strengthened and modified to meet the present challenges in order to uproot this evil from the society.
A strong bond between children and parents is based on listening to them. Even in some difficult circumstances a strong bond between the children and their parents can mean less risky behaviour. Spending even a small amount of time each day with complete attention to your child can really help. Praise your child for at least one thing he is doing even if small. Teachers can have a positive influence on children and youth to help them grow happy and resilient. Even in some difficult circumstances, children who are in school and feel a sense of belonging are less vulnerable to risky behaviour. The first step towards a strong bond between students and teachers is listening in empathy and care. Support the development of the personal and social skills of children through a curriculum of interactive activities. Create a positive school environment that supports the active participation of students. The most effective way to prevent drug abuse is to invest in youth and keep them interested and involved in life. Government should raise funding for after school programs, mentor programs, skill building/ job training programs etc. Moreover in order to curb the drug abuse, strong laws must be legislated both at union and state/UT levels against this menace and then strictly enforced. The laws already in vague must be strengthened and modified to meet the present challenges in order to uproot this evil from the society.

( The author teaches at Govt BHS Anderwan Ganderbal. Views are his own [email protected])

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