Srinagar June 26: In a major concern, the drug abuse is on the rise in Kashmir with more than 5000 drug addicts visiting GMC Srinagar’s Drug De-Addiction Centre annually.
As per the official figures accessed by news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS), around 5000 drug addicts visit the OPD at Drug De-Addiction Centre annually.
The figures reveal there is a sharp increase in the number of patients over the years. Five years ago, less than 500 drug addict patients would visit the hospital annually.
A doctor at SMHS Hospital said that a lot of patients who are being treated at its Drug-De-Addiction Centre had consumed drugs available on drug centres.
In an effort to curb drug abuse, the government has banned opening of new drug stores and directed the officials for regulation of existing ones in Kashmir.
The directions have been issued in view of increasing drug abuse in Kashmir. Although there is rising use of heroin and opium, drugs available in drug stores are also being misused.
An official at the office of Drug and Food Control Organisation said there are complaints that several drugs available in drug stores are being misused in the Valley.
“There are some drugs which can’t be given without the doctors’ prescription letter. But still some drug stores are selling these drugs,” the official said.
The official said that authorities have directed concerned officials to regulate the working of drug stores. “There are some drug addicts who don’t consume heroin and opium but take drugs from drug stores and are equally dangerous,” the official said.
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has warned society of alarming rise in drug and alcohol abuse especially among youth appealing parents, social organisations, teachers and religious leaders to rise against the menace.
President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said over the years Kashmir has witnessed a considerable rise in drug abuse cases as youth are taking drugs due to its easy availability, accessibility and affordability due to its huge local production.
“We as society, parents, social organisations, teachers and religious clerks should rise against the same and help in educating youth about the ill effects of drug addiction,” he said.
The DAK President said J&K has witnessed a steep rise in substance abuse cases over the past two decades saying that the drugs go to places where there is even no public transport.
Dr Naik said that both alcohol and drugs are deleterious for both mental and physical health and become long term social evil.
“When people lose their mental balance, they don’t differentiate between right and wrong. There is a huge loss to family monetarily and socially,” he said.
Both drugs and alcohol makes a person liable to several kinds of infections and diseases like HIV hepatitis B and C through syringes in Iv drug abusers.
“Diseases like fatty liver, cirrhosis, cardiac ailments, encephalopathy, accidents, blood borne ugly infections are very common among alcohol users,” he said.
The DAK President said that a lot of road accidents happen due to alcohol or drug abuse by drivers seeking concrete measures and a multipronged strategy for the remedial measures.
The doctors body president said that traffic police and other departments deputed on roads and highways should be equipped with instruments to check alcohol abuse by driver’s.
The DAK president said that people who are involved in the trade of drugs make huge money out of it and they have destroyed almost one generation of youth.
He said that the disastrous consequences of drug consumption proves in latter stages of life especially when an individual develops family which is dependent on him, economically, emotionally and socially.(KINS)