Dr Farooq Abdullah calls for all-out war against drug abuse

Says increasing abuse, addiction cases awful manifestation of widespread unemployment
Farooq Abdullah
Farooq AbdullahFile

Srinagar, Aug 22: National Conference President and Member of the Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah today called for an all-out war against the burgeoning menace of substance abuse in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a series of party functionaries and public delegations at Nawa- e- Subah Srinagar, Dr Farooq said, “Drug abuse in J&K is becoming a rampant phenomenon. It should be a point of concern for all of us. The first step towards stopping such incidents starts with contemplation by all of us. It goes without saying that the menace is an awful manifestation of widespread unemployment prevailing across J&K. It is time for the government to change the discourse about the drug addiction issue and start to view it as a disease rather than a law-and-order issue.”

NC President stated that for years now, Kashmir is witnessing a new epidemic—drug addiction. He said this has spurred deep concern in Kashmiri society. “The figures emanating from various government agencies call for an all-out war in curbing the rise of substance abuse. The survey carried by various agencies reveal the severity of the problem. Merely working on reining in the narcotics mafia will not help win the war. Unless the government makes a massive outreach to our youth, this war on drug abuse cannot be won,” Dr Farooq said.

He observed that in wake of the scathing unemployment and fast diminishing avenues, youth are taking to drug addiction and substance use. The crises, he said, is majorly factored by the policy paralysis of the government and the unconcerned attitude of the society. “We cannot wait for the Government to come to the rescue of our youth. We as a society have to unite our efforts to provide hope to our youth,” he added.

Ruing the incapacity of the administration in providing behavioural counselling, medication to treat drug addicts and providing treatment not just for substance use but also for many factors that accompany addiction, he observed that the dearth of de-addiction centers, absence of follow-ups have further aggravated the depressing scenario.

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