Drug Abuse | 15-30 years youth most vulnerable, most affected: SSP Baramulla

Baramulla, Aug 18: Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baramulla, Amod Ashok Nagpure Friday said that the youth in the age group of 15 to 30 years were most vulnerable and most affected by the substance abuse.

In a conversation with Greater Kashmir, the SSP Baramulla talked about the strategy of Police in handling the challenge of substance abuse being reportedly infiltrated in educational institutions.

He said that their target group comprises individuals aged 15 to 30 years including school students, college students, and the working class, encompassing both males and females.

“We cannot assert that drugs have infiltrated all schools, as schools also have 10-year-old children. Thus, the age group ranging from 15 to 30, which includes individuals in offices, schools, and colleges constitutes the main target demographic, some of whom may be Police officers, doctors, or other working professionals. Among this age group, there exists a higher level of addiction to drugs,” Nagpure said.

He has started a campaign to make Baramulla district drug-free under which the Police has taken various deterrent measures to curb the menace of substance abuse.

As per the official figures, Police in Baramulla, as part of its campaign over action against narcotics, has registered 198 cases and arrested 305 persons – 270 under NDPS and 35 under Prevention of Illicit Traffic (PIT) NDPS and PSA.

Also, property of drug peddlers was seized in four cases, which include two houses and two vehicles besides Rs 41.72 lakh cash.

Meanwhile, regarding the difference between the strategies chalked in curbing the cross border narco-terrorism and eradicating the menace of substance abuse in educational institutions, Nagpure said that the approach to tackling drugs involves two strategies: reducing the supply side and curbing the demand side.

“Reducing the supply side is primarily the responsibility of the Police, and we are actively engaged in this effort and have somehow succeeded in our efforts,” he said.

Nagpure said that to diminish the demand side, various stakeholders play a crucial role, including the Education Department, Health Department, Social Welfare Department, civil society, and religious bodies.

“All of these contribute to reducing the demand for drugs in society. If we wish to focus on schools, we need to involve educational authorities and teachers. They need to enhance vigilance and determine the appropriate role of watchful supervision,” he said. “If the Education Department or schools believe that Police intervention is necessary, we can certainly consider it, but the initial step should involve the Education Department and school management.”

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