“ There is nothing new in world except the history you do not know.” – Harry Truman

Aarif laments about a lack of serious societal commitment to eradication of drug addition among young boys and girls in Kashmir

(Mr. Peerzada Aarif, 22, was born in Kalantara, Baramulla. He passed his 8th grade from the J & K Sainik School, Manasbal, and passed the 10+2 examination from the Government Higher Secondary School, Kachwamuqam, Baramulla. He completed my Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication & Video Production from the Degree College, Baramulla in 2010. In the same year he was ppointed as a teacher in the J&K School Education Department. Presently he is enrolled in the my B.Ed program of the University of Kashmir.)

Drug Abuse in Kashmir

Drug addiction, a condition characterized by an over whelming desire to continue taking a drug to which one has become habituated through repeated consumption because it produces a particular effect, usually an alteration of mental status. Addiction is usually accompanied by a compulsion to obtain the drug, a tendency to increase the dose, a psychological or physical dependence, and detrimental consequences for the individual and society.

Common addictive drugs are barbiturates, alcohol and morphine and other opioids, especially heroin, which has slightly greater euphorigenic properties than other opium derivatives.

There are many young boys and girls in Kashmir valley who have picked up drugs for various reasons and the menace seems unstoppable looking at the widening graph of it that seems expanding every day. Young people are suffering from the hazardous impacts of drug addiction while as the menace remains comparatively unchecked. In the absence of any formal counseling and psychiatric help at the school, higher secondary and college levels, drug abuse seems picking up and engulfing the youth of this valley who are unable to give up drugs in such a scenario. Over a time, the problem is aggravated and turns out to be a serious threat to mental and physical health.

Those belonging to the age group of 15-30 are more susceptible to this risk and it has been found that young people are more into drug addiction in the valley with males outnumbering the females. Some recent studies suggest an alarming increase in the percentage of youth, from schools as well as colleges, taking drugs.

Unfortunately drug addiction in Kashmir has received little attention from government as well as the non-government agencies who are just giving cosmetic touches to the problem. The advertisement campaigns do help but what could be of instrumental significance is that if there are proper counseling centers in our schools and colleges as well. Both the government and private agencies could basically focus on schools and colleges and set up counseling centers for tackling such tendency among the youth.

The problem, it seems, shot up drastically during past two decades and has engulfed thousands of young boys and girls in its venomous ambit. Drugs, therefore, continue to ruin hundreds of thousands of lives in Kashmir while as Anantnag and Baramulla districts top the chart of drug addicts. In Kashmir women normally do not have any direct access to more prevalent drugs including and use substances like erasing fluid (commonly used in offices for erasing printing errors) and polishes of different nature including nail polish and shoe polish besides a number of other such substances. They consume medicinal drugs containing alcohol and other tranquilizing chemicals besides other psychotropic drugs.

While the trend is alarmingly increasing each passing day, those who are responsible for supplying the drugs are never caught. There is absolutely no check on the sale of such medicinal drugs sold over-the-counter by the medical shops here. The young people have an easy access to such drugs as they manage to buy these drugs without any risk or hesitation. Such things need to be checked by the state government while as the society too has a responsibility in this regard. People must be conscious about their neighborhood and the various things shaping around. Let us hope and pray that, one day, we will defeat the menace of addiction in Kashmir.