Drug addiction in Kashmir: Challenges and responses

Doubtless to mention is the fact that the drug abuse has increased manifold in Jammu and Kashmir. Historically, a low drug addiction zone, Kashmir has lost its innocence. The official figures revealed so for show that most of the youth in the 18-35 age group are addicted to drugs in Kashmir and Jammu divisions. If experts are to be believed the use of opium is the one of the bigger causes for the uncontrolled spread of drug addiction cases in both Kashmir valley and as well as Jammu division. The trends indicate that school and college students have fallen in the trap of drug addiction. The availability of illicit drugs in the open market is an area of high concern but unfortunately the concern being restricted to drug policies is not showing visible changes on ground in either Kashmir valley or Jammu division. Even popular governments in yesteryears used to talk much about drug policy but increasing no of drug addiction cases disputes all the claims of the police and civil administration in Jammu & Kashmir. This speaks of the inconsistency coming in the way of the execution of a drug policy devised to curb the menace of drug addiction in Kashmir. Director General Police Dilbag Singh again and again blames militancy for the rise in the menace of drug addiction and civil society leaders attribute the rise in drug addiction cases to the failure of parents. While Lt Governor Manoj Sinha may be surprised to know that the menace of drug addiction is spreading at a faster pace in Jammu region than Kashmir Kashmur,  the civil society leaders can’t blame only the parents for the spread of drug addiction menace in valley but religious preachers too have failed to carry out a regular awareness campaign for stemming the rot.

Awareness, identification and eradication by understanding all nuances of the menace could be the only way out. Policy statements have to be supplemented by the strong offensive against the drug addicts across Jammu & Kashmir if government means what it publicly says on dangers of unprecedented rise in drug addiction case in Jammu & Kashmir.   

Unfortunately this social evil threatening the lives of thousands of youth in Kashmir is unprecedentedly deepening it’s roots and consequently spreading fast due to a flourishing nexus between illicit drug dealers, small scale narcotics producers and market networks. Not only an effective drug policy, but a strong police offensive is must for curbing the menace of drug addiction in Jammu and Kashmir. A concerted joint effort by the government, law enforcing agencies, the civil society groups and religious clerics to stem the rot in Kashmir is needed. Only a focused drive would end the deadly menace of the drug abuse in Jammu and Kashmir. Awareness, identification and eradication by understanding all nuances of the menace could be the only way out. Policy statements have to be supplemented by the strong offensive against the drug addicts across Jammu & Kashmir if government means what it publicly says on dangers of unprecedented rise in drug addiction case in Jammu & Kashmir.

 

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