District administration Srinagar gears up to check drug abuse

District administration Srinagar gears up to check drug abuse
File PhotoFile/ GK

Srinagar: District administration Srinagar is mulling to take several measures to prevent drug abuse in the district.

Officials said the measures include involving religious leaders, parents and respectable members of society to educate youngsters about menace.

“Drug menace is fast emerging as the most daunting challenge for the society and administrative apparatus. This menace has to be tackled as it continues to spread like wild fire with each passing day,” said Syed HaniefBalkhi, Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar.

Balkhi added that youngsters who have fallen prey to this menace have not only ruined their lives but families too. “Some cases have also come to us wherein parents make an appeal to district administration to detain their drug addicted wards,” he said.

He added that families whose wards get addicted to drug abuse suffer from mental agony as well given the fact of social disrespect associated with drug abuse.

He informed that district administration plans to hold counseling sessions for students, and to establish rehabilitation centres or to help those NGOs who run such rehabilitation centres in Srinagar.

He added that though if there is no exact statistical data available to show the exact number of drug addicts in the district, however, circumstantial evidence suggest that the huge surge in it over the years.

He said about 350,000 persons die from overdoses of alcohol and illicit drug use disorders each year worldwide.

Balkhi added that recent data of the Srinagar Police Control Room's de-addiction centre reveals that of the entire lot, most drug abusers fall in the age group of 18-35 years.

He added that while the numbers affected is very high, the patient flow at the de-addiction centre is alarmingly too.

“In 2019, 633 were registered at the PCR, which has gone up to 1,978. While 81 percent were male, there were over 19 percent females suggesting that the number of female drug abusers too is on the rise in the otherwise conservative society,” he said while expressing concern over the rise of drug abuse cases.

Started in 2008, the PCR's de-addiction centre has treated 10,000 above abusers till date.

According to a survey conducted by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) in February 2019, 600,000 people in Jammu and Kashmir use opioid drugs, 80 percent of the drug addicts in Kashmir use heroin and morphine.

“It is our collective responsibility to take measures to save our generation from the drug abuse. We need to take some concrete steps now to minimize the drug abuse at first stage and end it completely, subsequently,” Balkhi said.

He added that involving religious leaders, respectable members of society and other relevant persons would prove beneficial in this direction.

Balkhi also appealed parents to remain vigilant and keep their wards away from social evils.

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