This case study about our minors is a major problem staring into our face. We have been talking about the issue of substance abuse for quite some time now. Form political spaces, to governance structures, and then to civil society formations – the concern is only mounting. This recent study, and a news story about this in GK must have shaken the concerned people to core.
We all know that one doesn't fall into this trap suddenly, but makes a gradual movement into it. And when there are some steps into this dark world, the chances of light returning back diminish with each step ahead. The first few steps into this evil trap consist of inhalants. And the alarming news is that, according to a study, minors constitute over 60 percent of patients seeking treatment for addiction of inhalants. This is something that should get all of us more than seriously thinking.
It means that our future is getting darker and darker. If there is a substantial number of minors that are inclining towards this evil practice, one can imagine the catastrophe that is waiting us as a society. If no serious and effective interventions are made right now, tomorrow might not even come; God forbid.
This study on the profile of inhalant users who seek treatment at a De-addiction center in Kashmir must wake us up from slumber. As the news story has already highlighted, the study shows that 66.3 percent of people reporting for treatment of inhalants are between 10-19 years.
The same percentage of abusers of inhalants is of students. This indicates that early age group, and that means the space of schools, comprise the most crucial band for interventions and surveillance as far as the spectrum of drug abusers in Kashmir is concerned. It means that parents, and teachers, are the most effective actors in curbing this menace.
The government must facilitate things for both parents, and teachers, to ensure that right interventions are made at the right time. We need to empower the two, by imparting them the necessary knowledge, and equipping them with the required skill set, to deal with this problem.
At the same time, as the study underlines, the inhalant abuse must be recognized as a public health problem.