Udtaa Kashmir

It starts with a cigarette, smoking often acts as a doorway to drugs. Most of the drug users use the substance out of curiosity and in the belief that it will reduce their problems like stress, trauma, anxiety or depression. Some other people use drugs to escape from the pressures of life or to compliance with the peer group compatibility to have a different view of the world around them. Once a person becomes addicted to drugs, he loses his control over drug use and for him persistent use of drugs becomes the primary focus in life and once the drugs stop, the person will have cravings and strong desire for drugs.

Our physiological mechanism generates these cravings to maintain the state of equilibrium that relies now on the drugs. These cravings have a physiological mechanism as they stimulate the area of the brain (amygdala) that controls the emotional memory in addicted person. A drug addict can experience a state of craving at any stage during the drug addiction or abuse

DRUG ADDICTION IN KASHMIR

Kashmir has been through three decades of violence, resulting in an epidemic of psychological disturbances among its population. A number of psychiatric problems have emerged like Depression, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder etc. The conflict ridden valley has also seen a tremendous rise in substance abuse over the past many years.

According to the United Nations Drug control programme (UNDCP), around seventy thousand people are drug addicts in Kashmir valley alone & among which 4000 are females. One more report published in the book by renowned psychiatrist in Kashmir Dr Margoob & Dutta states that around 2.11 lakh drug addicts are in Kashmir.

The director of Drug De-addiction centre Srinagar Dr Khan stated that “ the trend of drug abuse is on rise among school children as we have registered many such cases, where students of class IX to XII are involved in drugs “ The common substance used by Drug addict in Kashmir are cannabis, brown sugar, heroine, SP tablets, Anxil, Alprax, Inhalants like Fevicol, SR Solution, Thinner, Shoe polish,Paint varnish & dirty socks are used as substance

The alarming rate of this drug menace in Kashmir leads the academicians & experts to comment that “ we have lost one generation to bullets & we may lose another generation to drugs “

DISCUSSION

To curb this menace and diminish this horrific picture, J&K Police have taken initiatives by conducting awareness programmes and establishing drug de_addiction centres in various districts. Still stopping the illegal trafficking & sale of drugs and curbing opioid and cannabis cultivation remains a biggest challenge for them. SAC has also approved first ever drug de-addiction policy on the directions of honourable High Court.

There is a need for the government enforcement agencies, Islamic clergy, NGO’s to collaborate & supplement each others efforts for a solution to this menace. With most drug users being into the productive age group of 18-35 years, the lost in terms of human potential is incalculable. The damage to the physical, psychological, moral and intellectual growth of youth is very high. Drug addicts often feel isolated and sense of alienation, so providing them certain kind of social and moral support help them and make them more empowered to get over this problem

(Sohail Khan is a member of J&K Youth parliament and associated with J&K RTI movement)