Drug Abuse ‘Worrisome’  

There has been a ‘worrisome’ increase in the trend regarding substance abuse in Jammu and Kashmir, thus observed Lieutenant Governor. Rightly also, he said that the government aims to wean away youngsters from addiction and bring them into the mainstream of the society. While drug abuse has been rising in J&K, covid-19 has impacted and led to increase in substance abuse also. According to a survey conducted by UNO, more than 275 millions of people across the globe are addicted to different kinds of drugs. The most vulnerable are those in the age group of 16-35. In India drug abuse has also emerged in alarming dimensions, and Jammu and Kashmir is no exception.

Drug abuse has a multifarious impact on the health and existence of humanity. The International Narcotic Control Board report paints a worrying trend also, saying that drug addiction has increased both quantitatively and qualitatively. More and more people belonging to the middle and upper classes are resorting to it.  Drug addiction affects family life and social fabric very dangerously. Its steely talons are indiscriminate and spare none—children, parents, the poor, and the rich.  Research conducted globally has found that some of the reported overdoses were the result of people trying to self-treat their addiction drugs including opioids.

The erstwhile government in J&K implemented a Drug de-addiction policy. It was said to be broader, encompassing means to effectively challenge various inter-linked aspects. The government carried many awareness programmes but the zeal with which it was started has faded. At almost all levels, the policy failed to meet the ends for which it was formulated and serious efforts, both at official and the societal levels are all but lacking.

There is a need to understand the problem in-depth and proper data to know the enormity becomes very essential.

Youngsters linked to the drug trade are more victims than offenders, a Supreme Court judge famously said and also lay bare not just the callousness towards children that is, regrettably a feature of the society, but also an awareness of the deep corruption that undermines the purpose of any institution for the vulnerable.

As has been underlined by the Lieutenant Governor, all stakeholders, youth, educational institutions and NGOs need to work as a team. Together all can play an important role to transform the drug de-addiction efforts of various stakeholders into a public moment and wean away the youth from this menace.

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