Drug Menace: Govt to tighten noose around pharmaceutical agencies

By: Sameer Showkin Lone

Srinagar: The government is all set to tighten the noose around the mushrooming growth of pharmaceutical agencies that is believed to be a reason behind the increasing number of “drug addiction” cases in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Precious Kashmir learnt from reliable sources that the government has taken serious notice of the increasing cases of drug abuse across and has initiated some “yardsticks” to tighten the noose around the increasing numbers of pharmaceutical agencies, to curb the drug addiction.

Official sources in the Health Department in Civil Secretariat said that the government is going to form a team of the experts that will comprise doctors, professors, clinical scientists and civil society members to check the functioning and working nature of the pharmaceutical companies that have come up in J&K over the years.

To start with, the government is mulling to rope in volunteers and religious leaders to constitute a (task force) to closely monitor the working and functioning of increasing pharmacy shops and agencies, a top official source said.

“We have a civil society but they are more involved in different areas. The drug abuse issue has almost been ignored. If anyone finds any pharmacy selling drugs like Corex, Alprax, they can inform the Dept. We will act. The people can also go to the drug controller’s office to notify them about it,” said an official.

The Director Health Services Kashmir also voiced concern over the increasing consumption of drugs and termed the figures as alarming as never before.

“If there are complaints against any medical store selling such drugs without proper recommendations, the community members can notify the Drug Control Department. But they don’t come forward,” he said.

It is said that the government is likely to take this move in the backdrop of the easy availability of drugs like Corex, Alprax and Rexcop, which are easily found in cities and towns but also in the villages now.

The doctors and other officials associated with the medical fraternity believe that the mushrooming growth of pharmaceutical agencies across the valley is also a reason for increasing drug addiction cases as these drugs are easily available to the youth.

The medicos welcome the step if it is kicked off. “We will welcome the step if the proposal is implemented. It would largely help in controlling the drug distribution. There is a dire need to address the issue at ground level. It is a social and moral issue and everybody is involved in it,” they said.

Meanwhile, Mutahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of various socio-religious organisations has expressed grave concern over the spike in drug abuse and suicide cases in Jammu & Kashmir.

The MMU spokesperson in a statement said the drug abuse, domestic violence, family disputes and the rising graph of suicides is a cause of great pain and anguish.

The MMU has made a strong appeal to all religious and reformist organisations, scholars, preachers, imams, teachers, parents, conscious citizens and civil society members to play their positive role and launch a comprehensive awareness campaign to pave the way for the prevention of such menaces.

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