Last week, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that drug menace has emerged as a “formidable threat” to socio-economic structure of J&K. He is right as drug abuse remains very threatening. Its steely talons are blanket and spare none. Children, parents, the poor, and the rich, none is spared.
Youngsters linked to the drug trade are more victims than offenders and it also lays 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.
There are no quick-fix solutions. If successive governments failed to achieve desired results, people, too, do not have much to show by way of their involvement or interest in dealing with the menace.
Public pressure rides on the back of community participation and it is what drives change, and has been missing.
Lieutenant Governor tightly said that it is essential that the entire society must come together to uproot the menace and work as a strong unit to make J&K healthy and drug-free.
A collaborative effort on the part of every stakeholder is imperative to check the menace and every individual, and various social organizations need to join hands together, raise awareness regarding the threat possessed by illicit drugs to one and all.
Surveys conducted globally have found that some of the reported overdoses were the result of people trying to self-treat their addiction drugs including opioids.
Sinha rightly stressed the need to replicate successful models for self-motivated campaigns by the community.
The erstwhile government 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. Those who seek help for getting them out from the clutches of addiction seem to be few and the overall problem appears to be colossal. There is a need for focused attention on how to rescue those who could be and also importantly how to wage a decisive war against the menace.