The Menace of Drug Addiction

The Menace of Drug Addiction

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the government to revisit the phenomenon of drug addiction, treatment and control of drugs entering the state in a comprehensive manner, keeping in mind the new methods adopted globally. The court observed that it was the duty of the government to check the menace of drug addiction and thus eradicate the root cause of various problems. While the High Court’s recognition of the increasing and growing menace of drugs in our society is welcome, but , in the final analysis, this social issue and problem requires holistic and multi-pronged efforts at a range of levels. The first level is that of understanding the nature of the problem/issue. Generally speaking, it has been observed that use of drugs and addiction flows from a whole host of issues which include economic, social, psychological, emotional, family and personal problems. This is not to discount the prevalence and incidence of drug addiction on account of perverse pleasure amongst a certain section of people. In the context of Kashmir, drug addiction also accrues from stress and tension. Once the problem is seen from these perspectives, then it becomes imperative to devise de-addiction and rehabilitation programs to wean people- especially the youth- from drugs. Here society has to play an important and significant role. The primary prong of society’s role is to welcome back those who leave drugs as normal and respectable members of society. Stereotypes and stigmas pertaining to drug addiction and drug addicts can drive the problem underground besides creating adverse reputational and labeling issues for these people. Former drug addicts need all kinds of social support to sustain their de-addiction. The issue is also of demand and supply. Supply will always find a way into a given society if there is demand for drugs. If demand for drugs dries up, so will supply. It becomes incumbent then to create conditions where young people stay away from drugs. These could include awareness and sensitization programs about the perils and dangers of drug usage , support and encouragement for de-addiction and rehabilitation programs among other things. Religious and social leaders , role models and peer networks have a critical role to play here. Drugs hollow out the lives of people who use these and create misery not only for the users but also destroy families and have a negative impact on society. It is about time then that vigorous, comprehensive, holistic programs that not only curb the supply and demand of drugs but also held in de-addiction and rehabilitation are devised.

 

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