October 10, 2020

Drug Menace In Kashmir

Drug addiction has become a worldwide problem faced by both developed and developing countries. Drug addiction is considered as a neurobiological disease. Any substance that makes you crave for it when you start using it is an addictive agent and a person who falls prey to feeding this craving is an addict. Drugs that are the main cause of addiction are heroin, opium, morphine, diazepam, marijuana (ganja), brownsugar, cocaine etc. After petroleum and arms, the drug trade is the third largest business in the world. It is estimated in a report of the United Nations (2017) that about 25.5 million people in the world are suffering from drug incited disorders. Kashmir is also engulfed in this menace. It is estimated from a survey conducted by the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) that there are approximately 70,000 people in Kashmir who are drug addicts, among whom 4,000 are females. It is in place to mention here that the rate of drug addiction in Kashmir is continuously increasing particularly among students. Students are being destroyed by this menace. Youth play a vital role in the development of a society and they are economically most productive and biologically most reproductive part of society. A report of the Government Psychiatric Hospital of Kashmir revealed that most of the drug addicts in the valley are youths. The rate of increase of drug addiction is so high in the valley that experts and academicians are warning that after one generation lost to bullets, another may be lost to drugs.Anadolu Agency, International News Agency Company in a report provides some worrisome and shocking revelations regarding Drug abuse in Kashmir.It reports that only main Srinagar hospital received 3,319 patients from July to November 2019. “Most of the patients we have been receiving from the last three years are heroin addicts and there is a drastic increase in their numbers now,” said Dr. Yasir Rather, a consulting psychiatrist. “We have been receiving patients of less than 14 years which is more alarming,” he added. The more worrisome trend that many patients even after getting treatment once again turn to drugs when they join the society. At the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Afaan,18, has severe body pain. He is feeling dizzy for over the last 13 hours after quitting heroin. It is the fifth time that the boy belonging to the border area of Tangdhar, Uri has relapsed back to the heroin abuse and has been admitted to the hospital. “I want to leave this abuse but it is not letting me come out from it,” said Afaan. Such patients relapse many times before being admitted for treatment, Dr. Saleem Yousuf dealing with addiction cases told Anadolu Agency. He said that hard drugs like heroin and cocaine bring permanent changes into the human system, once an individual gets addicted. “It is not easy to come out of this web,” he said.
It is essential to eradicate the roots of drug addiction, so that the future of Kashmir can be saved.
Youth lured into net: Social activists in the region believe that it is a big underground narcotic nexus that targets youth and children. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a social activist on the condition of anonymity said people especially youth are lured into drug net intentionally with a purpose. Social and medical experts in the region argue that the best way to deal with the menace is to cut down the availability of drugs. The question, if the security agencies can track down militants, why they are unable to track down peddlers and drug mafia, who have spoiled lives of children? Dr. Naik said that while the political conflict has consumed many generations in the region, the latest menace of drug abuse is starting to spoil youth and children. “We need to unmask those faces who are running this drug racket before it is too late and the government must act fast on it,” he said. Also, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has to take strict action against drug peddlers, opioid cultivators, and chemists who sell psychotropic medicines. Another important responsibility is of parents and teachers. Instead of scolding their wards who have become addicted to drugs, they have to deal with them with love and patience. They should try to increase the morale and confidence of drug addicts so that they can shun this vice. Parents should also consult professional interventionists to help find the real cause of stress and ways to manage it. NGOs, government, schools and colleges should regularly organize programs and seminars to make aware students and the general masses about the repercussions of drug addiction. Job opportunities should also be increased so that unemployment does not become a cause for depression and stress. It is essential to eradicate the roots of drug addiction, so that the future of Kashmir can be saved. May Allah save us from this drug menace!
( The author is pursuing M.Tech In Earthquake Engineering at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. View are his own) [email protected]

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