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Drug Addiction Boom Is A Massacre Of Young Kashmiris

Drug Addiction Boom Is A Massacre of Young Kashmiris

According to a report published by the United Nation Drug Control Program (UNDCP) around 70,000 people are addicted to drugs alone in Kashmir.

Among them approximately 31% are women.

The youth is particularly involved in drug addiction as reported by a Psychiatric Hospital (GPDH) in Srinagar.

Around 90% of drug abusers belong to the age group of 17-35.

The circumstances of the state from the last two decades have contributed to various kinds of social and political issues including drug addiction.

Considerably, a number of youth who have turned to drugs have been directly or indirectly affected by the suppressive measures of Indian administration like brutal killings and massacres, plundering houses, prolonged detention of family members, presence of orphans and widows including half widows in the society, rape of women, presence of armed forces at every nook and corner of the streets in the valley.

When this major cause is coupled with unemployment, corruption, nepotism, poverty and prolonged lockdown, youth then begin to feel frustration, anxiety, depression, and eventually slip into drug addiction in order to get rid of their frustration temporarily.

This grimy picture of drug abuse in the Kashmir valley has posed a serious challenge for the people of the valley in general and parents of the victims in particular.

Experts state that the biggest challenge is the illegal trafficking and sale of drugs within the valley. Lack of awareness about both drug addiction and the process of detoxification and rehabilitation is also a challenge.

Social organizations and religious institutions like mosques and Islamic centers, professionally effective Muslim NGOs, schools, colleges and spiritual figures could play their essential roles in educating people especially the young generation about this epidemic. However, the occupation has limited the work of these institutions.

Awareness on the part of parents and caretakers is also an issue in tackling this menace, so that they can detect this problem as early as possible to provide immediate help to victims. A large amount of the literature suggests that enhancing a victim’s social support and inculcating in them some positive behaviors can help them get rid of this . A Kashmir Action report is forthcoming.

References:

1.     United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2014) World Drug Report.

2.     Khan M (2011) Drug addiction in Kashmir. Physicians Academy.

3.     Maqgoob MA, Dutta K (1993) Drug abuse in Kashmir – experience from a psychiatric diseases hospital. Indian J Psychiatry 35: 163.

4.     Naqshbandi MM (2012) Drug addiction and youth of Kashmir. Int NGO Journal 7: 84-90.

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