It is a sad situation; a cause of concern for the entire society. For quite some years drug addiction has been on an increase in the whole state. It is no more an urban phenomenon and has spread alarmingly to the rural areas also. Studies have shown that some of the rural areas are worst hit. That it has assumed epidemic proportions and touched every family in Kashmir as claimed by the Principal Medical College may be too hyperbole, but it cannot be denied that it is a severe problem that needs to be addressed at the governmental and as well as societal level, with a missionary spirit. Besides psychological factors, lack of awareness about drugs changing the working of the brain, ultimately losing self-control and damaging behaviours have also contributed to the spread of drug menace. That drug addiction is not just about cocaine, heroin but also about nicotine, opioid pain killers, alcohol and other substances such themes are rarely talked about at morning assemblies in our schools. It augurs well that the state has issued its maiden drug de-addiction policy for fighting the menace of substance abuse in the state.
The envisaged plan that aims at involving other departments and the general public can go a long way in fighting against the abuse, responsible for the increase in crimes, moral degradation and death of young adults. Setting up drug de-addiction centre in various parts of the state is a good idea. For removing the stigmas surrounding the problem, there is a need for earning social acceptability for these centres by launching a sustained awareness campaign and winning mass support for the initiative by involving religious and community. Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Umar Farooq deserves a big hand for flagging the issue of drug menace. Other religious leaders also need to join the noble mission. It is no secret that there are havens for drug paddlers in some parts the summer capital. It is high time for the administration to initiate an all-out crackdown against the culprits.