The state is badly hit by drug addiction for the last couple of years.
It is unfortunate that drug addiction in the valley has received little attention from the government as well as NGOs who are just giving cosmetic touches to the problem.
It is a hot social problem and need concrete steps and strategies to go with.
The government, mass media and other social organisations must work with great coordination and close knitting to nip the evil in the bud.
In the absence of any formal counselling and psychiatric help at the school, higher secondary and college level, drug addiction is rising among the youth of this valley.
The survey conducted in Year 2008 by UNIDC in valley to assess the graph of addiction.
According to United Nations International Drug Control programme , that in Kashmir valley 70,000 drug addicts are existing, including 4000 women. Added that 70 % drug addicts had been found among student community. While it is shocking that 26% drug addicts are female students.
Mere slogan on roads “Say No To Drugs” will never yield any result.
We have collective responsibility to find a cause as well as remedial measures for the safety and security of our youth.
A study by the sociology department of Kashmir University reveals that 35 per cent of youth between 15 to 25 years of age have taken to drugs. The innocent killings, injustice, unemployment and drastic rise of crimes are directly or indirectly responsible for the alarming rise of drug abuse in the Kashmir.
Well known sociologist Dr Tabla says, “We lost one generation to the gun and we are going to lose the next generation to drugs.”
This is a great hint to understand the cause of drug addiction in Kashmir.
It seems that invisible hand is behind this alarming rise of Drug addiction in Kashmir. Talking to Dr Sheikh Henna at L. D hospital states that “Drugs go by different names on the street than their actual name in order to make communication confidential between the teens and a dealer.” The drugs are wisely and systamatically selled and buyed in a market.
The street name of drugs can help us find whether our teen is using drugs or not. The common street name of drugs are Scorpio, Ice, Haircut, Weed, Gold Star, Grass, Bush, Soda, 420, Aspirin, Pearl, etc.
In 2004, 250,000 deaths were reported worldwide due to drug abuse; alcohol claimed 2.25 million lives, while tobacco touches 5.1 million deaths globally during the same time period.
To be noted that in contemporary scenario 80 per cent drug users in Kashmir valley comprise those who consume prescription medicine.
Availability of pharmaceuticals across the counter has added fuel to the fire in serious rise of addiction.There is no check on over-the-counter sale of such medicinal drugs by medical stores. Those belonging to the age group of 15 to 30 are more vulnerable to drug abuse.
The youths have an easy access to such drugs.
These who are responsible for supplying the drugs are never caught. The acute conflict, Political tensions, Insecurity and War like situations in Kashmir valley will surely increase the number in the list of addicts.
This is a social problem and challenge and need to be addressed at earliest .
The government, NGOs, civil society, responsible citizens, volunteers, and religious clerics have a responsible role to play in eradicating this demon from the land of reshis and sufis. Let us hope and pray that, one day, we would defeat the menace of addiction in Kashmir valley.
Social and RTI Activist, Head Al Mehdi (a.s) Welfare Foundation, at contemporary studying at Jamia Al Mustafa International University Qom Iran.