Losing the young generation to drugs!

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By: Tahir Mushtaq

Drug addiction has become a gross nuisance, a life threatening phenomenon and an indication of the humiliating conditions that we have arrived at. It is particularly among teenagers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that use of drugs is rampant and is spreading like wild fire by each passing day. It is a disease that affects brain and behavior of a person and is rooted deep in our society ironically we don’t even realize that. From Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, opium and alcohol and other synthetic drugs, youth are also hooked towards excessive use of substances like Synthetic resin, painkillers, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers. Despite knowing its negative consequences the number of drug addicts is increasing day by day and in the near future narcotics might be the number one enemy of our society and may challenge the very fabric of our identity.

The alarming rate of drug consumption among youngsters has become major issue which needs to be tackled. A survey by United Nations International Drug Control Programme estimated that there are around 70,000 drug addicts in Kashmir valley, out of which 31 percent are women. Such drugs can leave an addict feeling helpless, isolated or ashamed and we, as a society, need to take immediate steps to curb the growing nuisance and also intervene very craftily so as to address the issue without offending anyone.

Among the factors that increase the risk of drug use are the easy accessibility to many substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Kashmir has been volatile for last several decades, a huge number of youth has turned to drugs for having been in either direct or indirect connection with one or more conflict related incident. In the absence of psychiatric and psychological help, people often lose their battle with anxiety and end up becoming drug addicts. It becomes there refuse for some time until they realize that it was actually a prisn!

More worrying is the fact that the banned drugs are openly sold in markets here; the administration is not doing enough to crackdown on drug peddlers and most of the drug addicts often arrange their doze just on a phone call. So when such dangerous substances are just a phone call away, how could we dream of having a society free of drugs? It becomes necessary for parents to keep an eye on their children and talk to them about drug abuse, additions and its consequences.

Drug addiction is both preventable and treatable. Education and outreach is the key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Prevention is one of the most important factors in the fight against drugs, especially in the adolescent stage. Raising awareness among adolescents, through their direct environment or prevention campaigns, of the risks involved in drug use is very important to prevent them from consuming. In addition to the influence of the environment, schools, colleges, institutes and other educational centers can also play a fundamental role in prevention of drug addiction. These prevention programs work to boost protective factors and eliminate or reduce risk factors for drug use. When young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug intake. Teachers and parents have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use or addiction.

Author is an engineering student and can be reached at [email protected]

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