rug abuse or substance abuse refers to the use of certain chemicals for the purpose of creating pleasurable effects on the brain. There are over 190 million drug users around the world and the problem has been increasing at alarming rates, especially among young adults under the age of 30. It is this abuse which gives rise to drug addiction, which is a neurobiological disease. When a person becomes a drug addict it is very difficult for him to spend a day without taking a dose. He feels he would die without getting his dose, this is how drug addiction plays with the victims lives. Drugs that are main causes of addiction are heroin, opium, morphine, inhalants, brown sugar, cocaine, diazepam, marijuana (ganja), hash oil, etc.
If we look to it from another point of view, after petroleum and arms, the drug trade is the third largest trade in the world. The drug use gives rise to many disorders either physical, mental or social. Kashmir is also moving rapidly towards this vice. It is estimated from a survey conducted by the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) that there are approximately 70,000 people in Kashmir who are drug addicts, among whom 4,000 are females. It is important to mention here that the rate of drug addiction in Kashmir is continuously increasing among students, both males and females. It is recorded that in Kashmir, drug addicts are below the age group of 18 years. Thus, the main pillars of the future of Kashmir are being destroyed by drug addiction. Youth certainly are the most important part of our society and play a vital role in the development of the society. They are economically the most productive and biologically most reproductive part of the society. A report of the Government Psychiatric Hospital of Kashmir revealed that most of the drug addicts are the youth. The drug abuse in Kashmir is rapidly growing at an alarming rate. Many drug paddles are even caught manier times by the Officials, still the drug addiction is not getting in control. It can be said that this addiction, if not controlled, Kashmir shall lose its future to this addiction.
As we know Kashmir is one of the most militarized conflict zones of the world. The turmoil of the past many years has caused depression and psychological problems among a vast number of people here and due to this depression, many people have found drugs to be the only solution to get rid of stress. Another important reason for drug addiction in Kashmir is unemployment. As we know that competition in terms of employment is increasing because of growing population and lack of resources. In other countries the private sector offers adequate opportunities to the youth but in Jammu and Kashmir government jobs are the only option. However, it is impossible to absorb all the youth in the government sector.
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Bad company or peer pressure is also considered as one of the reasons for drug addiction. The study by Mushtaq et al, ‘Changing socio-demographic and clinical profile of substance use disorder patients in Kashmir Valley 2004’, revealed that about 78 percent of drug addicts have turned to drugs due to peer pressure and bad company. Many studies reveal that the first step on drug addiction is the smoking, used mostly as a fashion among youth.
It is the need of an hour that the drug addiction should be reduced. In order to curb this problem the first and foremost step which the government of Jammu and Kashmir has to take is strict action against drug peddlers, opioid cultivators, and chemist shops that sell psychotropic medicines and shall take steps to stop selling of medicines without a proper prescription. It is said that children learn the basis of life from home and school. So it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to take proper care of the children. Firstly, understanding their wards and don’t let them go inside this mud of drug addiction. God forbid is they become one, instead of scolding them, they should deal with them with love and patience. They should try to increase the morale and confidence of drug addicts that they can shun this vice. Parents should also consult professional interventionists to
help find the real cause of stress and ways to manage it.
Creating awareness is one of the most important aspects of fighting drug abuse. NGO’s, schools, colleges, university etc shall always organise seminars about the bad effects of drug abuse. Job opportunities should also be increased in order to stop youth from sitting idol and going towards drugs. Encouraging sports shall also be encouraged, as it also can stop youth from going towards drugs. It is essential to stop this addiction in among youth to save the future of society on the entire globe. Don’t let the past steal your present." – Terri Guillemets
Author is pursuing Integrated Course in Environmental Science from Cluster University, Srinagar. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org