J&K on powder keg of drug addiction, abuse: Tanvir Sadiq
Calls for a collective community response to tackle the menace
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Chief Spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq on Friday said that the problem of drug addiction/abuse among Kashmiri youth has reached catastrophic levels.
Expressing concern over the huge rise in drug addiction cases among the youth, Tanvir said, “Drug abuse in J&K is becoming a rampant phenomenon. It should be a point of concern for all of us. The first step towards stopping such incidents starts with contemplation by all of us. It goes without saying that the menace is an awful manifestation of widespread unemployment prevailing across J&K. It is the time for the government to change the discourse about the drug addiction issue and start to view it as a disease rather than a law-and-order issue.”
He further added that ignoring drug addiction among youth will not help. “The situation should be immediately tackled with a brawny response before it morphs into a much dire situation. It would be better if the government comes up with an inclusive policy against the menace of drug addiction and narcotic smuggling. The policy framework should include the inputs of health, police, and education departments. Various civil society groups should also be taken on board before evolving such a state-level strategy against the menace,” he said.
Every member of the society should come forward and play his role in the eradication of this menace, he said adding, “According to certain figures 70 thousand people in Kashmir are heroin addicts and these are the people who get registered for treatment. There are thousands of such addicts who don’t register for treatment due to the taboo related to the condition. Every issue has to be addressed with all seriousness jointly by various stakeholders that include the government as well. But the greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of schools, parents, and community leaders. The need of the hour calls for inclusive policy against the menace focusing mainly on three components: policing, de-addiction, and prevention.”