Srinagar: To highlight challenges of drug abuse and to create awareness with viable solutions through collaboration and coordination, the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Kashmir (KU) Wednesday inaugurated a symposium here.
On the directions of the Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof Nilofer Khan, the symposium titled ‘Drug Abuse: Challenges, Awareness and Redressal’ was organised in collaboration with the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar; Jammu and Kashmir Science, Technology and Innovation Council (JKSTIC) and Directorate of School Education, Kashmir (DSEK).
Head, IMHANS, GMC, Srinagar, Prof Arshad Hussain while advocating policies and facilities for patients of substance abuse said treatment with disease model is the best and the most effective way of tackling the ‘pandemic’.
He said, “Substance abuse spreads like a pandemic, mostly peer-to-peer, and we need to have integration and intersectoral coordination at all levels to prevent it.”
He further said sensationalisation trivialises the problem but we need restriction on availability through mass-awareness and community-participation.
Commissioner/Secretary, Department of Science and Technology & Skill development , Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Saurabh Bhagat said NGOs, academic institutions and religious scholars need to join hands to educate and sensitise young generation about the critical importance of understanding the issue of drug and substance abuse.
Registrar University of Kashmir, Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir underscored the social dimension of drug abuse and stressed on love, affection and compassion to deal with the problem.
Registrar, Central University of Kashmir, Prof M Afzal Zargar stressed on engaging and educating the youth to spread the message and to be the brand ambassadors of change.
Assistant Director, Dr Shabina Gulshan, DHSK said the pandemic of drug abuse is destroying individuals and families and that we need comprehensive initiatives and preventive programmes to tackle it.
Head, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, KU, Dr Fouzia Rashid said since most crimes are attributed to drug abuse, we need a comprehensive approach to educate and aware people of the consequences of falling prey to drugs.