Int'l Day Against Drug Abuse | 'Drugs devastating young generation, creating societal crisis'

Underlining the gravity of substance abuse in Kashmir, experts today said that “drugs were devastating young generation and creating a societal crisis”

The experts were speaking at a function organised to commemorate International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking at Government Medical College Srinagar.

The event saw experts from various fields involved in enforcing control over illicit trafficking of drugs and substance abuse speak about the crisis that Kashmir is looking at.

Principal GMC Srinagar, Prof Kaiser Ahmed Koul said that “drugs were devastating a young generation and creating a societal crisis.” “Drug overdoses and health complications induced by drugs such as liver and kidney disorders, convulsions and mental health issues arising out of it has become a reality in our emergency rooms,” he said. He added that health department needed to put in extensive efforts to tackle the problem at various levels while urging authorities to prioritise the issue.

“Society was fighting a war against nefarious people who had money and resources at their disposal. They have money to sell drugs, what do we have to protect ourselves against drugs?” he asked. Pressing for the need of a ‘vaccine’ against substance abuse, he said that “it was individual and society against a mafia.”

“The vaccine against substance abuse could be strengthened family values and quality time with kids, better and practical religious education and a societal crack down on people involved in making this poison available to our kids,” he said.

Dr M Maqbool Dar, head department of Psychiatry GMC Srinagar said that various services had been made available at the department.  “It was due to the untiring efforts of the staff of the department that more and more people were coming forward to seek help for mental health issues as well as substance abuse.  We are using all our skills and resources to address the issue but it needs collaborative and intensive efforts,” he said.

He appreciated the role played by Excise Department, Police, JK State AIDS Control Society, Education department and others.

Dr Yasir H Reshi, faculty at department of Psychiatry said that “the fact the age of initiation was lowering down every year was alarming in itself.” “If a kid as young as 10 is trying to experiment with drugs, the society needs to wake up, parents need to retrospect what is going wrong,” he said.

Dr Sanjeet Kour from department of Psychiatry highlighted various aspects of heroin addiction.

A skit by students of Islamic University of Science and Technology and Bibi Halima College of Nursing illustrated the ease with which vulnerable adolescents get trapped in heroin addiction and how it was causing deaths of these young people.

The event also saw legal and religious experts delving on the issue.