Some years back the talk of drug addiction would sound very strange at a place like Kashmir. But now it is one of the toughest challenges we are facing at a collective level. Every other day we come across tragic stories of how drugs consume young lives in Kashmir.
The rising numbers that are associated with this menace are more than alarming. It is this realisation that the government, particularly the healthcare department, started responding to this problem in a practical way. Now we have full fledged centres that deal with such cases. Although there are not sufficient numbers of centres in Kashmir that are needed to deal with growing number of such cases, but still there are special centres that deal with these cases.
Another problem that such cases would face, and in some cases are still facing, was that of social stigma. Parents would first respond with a denial, and when it became clear to them, they would try to hide it from society. Consequently it would result in worsening of the health of their child. Finally they would consult a doctor only when it was too late.
Now there is a realisation that such children are only victims, and we need to understand them and immediately consult a specialist doctor. This has resulted in many such persons getting treated in time. But the problem that persists here is the unavailability of a long term rehabilitation centre.
The valley, according to reports was supposed to have two such centres under a government scheme, but, as per the concerned officials, the current pandemic caused a delay in that. Now whatever the case may be, the concerned department should speed up the process and establish these rehabilitation centres.
Since it is always a long term treatment that can make a difference in the life of a drug addict, such centres are very crucial for saving lives. In the absence of such centres chances of a victim relapsing into addiction are very high. The government should make every effort to upgrade infrastructure that is needed for treating the cases of drug addiction.