J&K first UT to have comprehensive drug de-addiction policy after Punjab

J&K first UT to have comprehensive drug de-addiction policy after Punjab
An official informed that “UT Level Policy Implementation Monitoring Committee and Jammu and Kashmir Division Level De-addiction Centre Monitoring Committees have been constituted. [Representational Image] Mapixel [Creative Commons]

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir becomes the first Union Territory in the country, after Punjab state, having a comprehensive drug de-addiction policy envisaged to weed out this atrocious menace from the society.

According to an official press release, the urgency to formulate a drug de-addiction policy by Jammu and Kashmir government is due to the location of the UT in the vicinity of “Golden Crescent”, a name given to South Asia’s opium producing countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan which produces 80 percent of the world’s opium and is considered as the prime source of illicit drug trade.

J&K government has intensified its efforts to fight narco-terrorism being unleashed by unscrupulous elements from across neighboring countries.

It has come out with a detailed mechanism to supervise and review implementation of Drug De-addiction Policy and has even roped in civil society members in the endeavor so that drug menace is fought effectively.

Giving further details in this regard, an official informed that “UT Level Policy Implementation Monitoring Committee and Jammu and Kashmir Division Level De-addiction Centre Monitoring Committees have been constituted.

The UT level committee has been assigned the task of suggesting changes in the Drug De-addiction Policy from time to time besides looking out for financial support for various de-addiction activities in Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

These committees have been assigned the task of inspecting the existing de-addiction facilities in Jammu and Kashmir and grant or cancel licenses after thorough inspection of infrastructure, manpower and standards of care.

The committees have also been entrusted with the task of advising various stakeholders from time to time in implementation of Drug De-addiction Policy on ground and look at monitoring of prescription drug abuse and suggest remedial measures to the Drug Controller,” an official said.

The policy also focuses on various key aspects including prevention, rehabilitation and integration, training and sensitization, community participation, generating awareness and upgradation/establishment of drug de-addiction centers.

“It lays out a comprehensive action plan for addressing the drug addiction issue in its entirety. There has been a steep rise in physical, mental and substance-use disorders over the past two decades across the UT. There has been an alarming shift in the pattern of substance use in terms of rise in the number of female users, decreasing age at first-use, increasing use of solvents, injectable-opiates and use of steroids as well as increasing drug related deaths (over- dose and accidents),” the official said.

For effective surveillance and law enforcement, the government has also constituted the Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) in coordination with the Excise and Agriculture departments to map the expected cultivation areas and take remedial actions in terms of destruction of illegal crops on both private and government lands.

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