Vox Popli: About Drug Addiction and Kashmir’s lost generation!
Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain — they change its structure and how it works.
Drug addiction is like other disease, in fact more harmful than many and if not attended at proper time it leads to permanent brain damage and even to death. Yet people seem comparatively less concerned with the issue of drug addiction among youth in Kashmir were, from past one decade, consumption of drugs has emerged as a major challenge for government as well as local societies to curb.
According to a survey conducted by United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in 2008 on Kashmir valley, at least seventy thousand youth, including women, were found drug addicts. The study also found that 90% drug addicts belong to the age group between seventeen to thirty-five.
The most common among the drugs in Kashmir include cannabis, narcotics, brown sugar, alcohol, opiates (like codeine, heroin), inhalants like fevicol, SR , glue , paint, thinner , petrol, shoe, polish, and others. Some media reports also claim that Jammu and Kashmir was one among the five states that topped the drug addiction list.
Drug abuse among adolescent is a major area of concern because more than half of the person’s with substance use disorder are introduced to drugs before the age of 15 years. It is also noted that easy availability of drugs in markets and also domestic levels and lack of accountability adds to the misery. Another report released by J&K police this year in July says that the drug menace among Kashmiri youth was a bigger challenge than even militancy.
Kashmir Images Pulwama reporter, Mir Zeeshan, spoke to many and here are the views:
Muzamil Manzoor: Drug addiction in Kashmir is surely a challenge that needs to be dealt with utmost immediacy. First and foremost, we at a societal level must consider drug addicts as our own people as alienating the lot brings them to a state of rejection and shock. There are no chances to rehabilitate them, if we don’t show our concern.
There is lack of moral education and awareness regarding drug menace. We need awareness campaigns at different levels like schools, colleges and domestic levels to make our youngsters aware of the numerous health hazards of drugs
Shahijah Mustafa: After feeling unsuccessful in life or in career, a youth faces humiliation from everybody like parents, relatives and society and then he/she tries to overcome the trauma by using such substances. It can only be stopped at domestic level and parents should help their wards to come out of this filthy activity and assure full support while he/she is indulged in drug addiction. Government should establish rehabilitation and counseling centers at district level for drug addicts.
Zahid Salam (Research Associate at IUST Awantipora):
The government should take notice of easy access of drug like substances in markets and an advisory should be made against those selling such banned substances. I believe easy access to drugs is not only impacting our young generations but also alluring the younger ones. The police wing assigned to controlling free flow of such drug like substances should be empowered and they should bring in stringent measures to curb the menace.
Showkat Ali Dar (Student of International Relations department IUST):
Lack of proper guidance leads adolescent and youth into drug consumption. Our religion, Islam restricts us from consumption of any substances which makes us unconscious and the more we alienate from Islamic teaching the more problems we may face. Every society should start volunteer programmes to aware the young generations that consuming drugs is forbidden in Islam.
Dr Jahangir Ahad: Now that the problem of drug addiction has crept in deep in our society and that it has ruined our young generation, we must have more and more de-addiction centers and people must be made aware about the injurious, or rather fatal, impact s of drugs on our mind and body, We must, as a society, come to terms with our reality and find out solutions to rescue our youth from such menaces.
Syed Muneeb: While some people are left in chaotic situations that arise from failing in an examination to failing in a relationship, there are other reasons for drug addiction including the heroics that are associated with it in the films. But once caught in this quagmire, youth are stuck and helpless. As a society, we must ensure that we do our bit and the government as well other organizations associated with fighting the drug issue must bring vibrancy in their activities in order to ensure that drug addiction is eradicated from our society.