There seems to be no end to the availability of drugs and narcotic substances to drug abusers in most parts of South Kashmir raising serious question over the working of state Police in tackling the menace which is endangering human lives.
A patient (20), hailing from South Kashmir who used to take Heroin on daily basis and is now trying to get rid of the drug, said that the drug abuse menace is rampant in South Kashmir, especially for last 2 years, and most of the addicts fall in the age group of 18-24.
According to him, he used to buy a particular dosage of Heroin for the amount of Rs 1500, and according to him it would last for just two days. After that he had to spend another 1500 rupees for another dosage that would keep him high for another two days.
The patient even goes to an extent of saying that there is a nexus between authorities and the drug peddlers in his area, “If they are arrested a person one day, you will find them moving freely the next day,” he said.
Experts are saying that instead of criminalizing drug peddlers, the authorities are criminalizing the abusers—who are willing to come out of it and are in need of help—but what is happening is the opposite.
In his immediate friend circle he says at around 4-5 of his friends are still indulging in the menace, however, he said that he is trying to get them out of it too.
When asked how he procured the substance he said “I would not have indulged in this menace, but it was, firstly, due to the easy availability of the substance (Heroin), and secondly, due the insistence of my friends.”
Sources are verifying the fact that there has been a rise in the drug abuse menace in South Kashmir. From last two years there has been a drastic inflow of such patients from South Kashmir—mostly youth—falling in the age group of 18-23, which is raising serious questions over the functioning of agencies that are responsible to curb the menace, sources said.
Comparison of the past two years shows that drug peddling is on increase in the State. During the period between January 1 and December 31, 2015 a total of 4282 kilograms of narcotic drugs were seized across the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, 588 cases were registered under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA) against 863 persons.
This seizure includes 75.282 kilograms of Charas, 101 kilograms Heroin, over 2 kilograms of Opium and other substances. However, during the period between January 1 and December 31, 2016 the seizure of narcotic drugs increased to 5393 kilograms. This includes over 180 kilograms of Charas, 546 kilograms of Fuki, 4161 kilograms of poppy straw, 148 kilograms of brown sugar, 25 kilograms of heroin, 8 kilograms of opium/powder and 133 kilograms of Ganja.
According to medicos the patient is recovering from the menace, “he is out of touch from the drug, and is being treated for his withdrawal symptoms, and after that he will be treated with anti-craving medicines,” a doctor said.
Medicos are hopeful, that he will recover in full and will not return back to drug abuse. “After he is treated for craving symptoms, he along with his family will be properly counseled, and we hope that he will do well,” doctors said.
In May, this year, Director School Education said that drug menace has reached to an alarming stage, and emphasized on the collective efforts to address it. He remarked that an action plan has been prepared to curb the menace of drug abuse in schools and the same has got an approval from the Divisional Commissioner’s office.
However, as per sources, what is happening is totally against it, there has been no coordination between the departments when it comes to tackling the drug menace. There is no action plan, awareness programmes are being organized without even taking people from concerned department along, with the result there is no proper awareness that reaches to the masses, especially youth.