Jammu: To meet the challenge of rising menace of drug among the youth, Jammu and Kashmir government under its newly framed Drug De-addiction Policy has mulled to establish drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres in all the district hospitals across the Union Territory.
These de-addiction centres will be equipped with all facilities under the centrally sponsored scheme.
“To curb the rising drug abuse cases and also to rehabilitate the addicts, Jammu and Kashmir Government has proposed to establish drug de-addiction centres in all District Hospitals,” sources in the Health Department.
They said that as the government has already introduced Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) to help the victims of drug abuse but the policy covers social, medical and legal aspects to better address the issue and also lays emphasis on standards of care in de-addiction centres.
“The Jammu and Kashmir share boundaries to the opium producing countries of South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan which produces 80 percent of the world’s opium and is considered to be a major source of the illegal drug trade and it is also being pumped into the Jammu and Kashmir,” they added.
“It has become important to stop the menace and to deal with this growing social problem, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had formulated a de-addiction policy so that everyone can be engaged to deal with it,” sources added.
Notably, after Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir is the only region to have its own de-addiction policy.
In Jammu and Kashmir, two committees have been constituted to fight the menace of drugs. While State Level Committee has been tasked to suggest changes in De-Addiction Policy from time to time, Division Level Committees have been appointed in new de-addiction centers.
“The crime rate has also increased due to drug abuse and it has also allegedly reduced the participation of youth in economic activities,” they said.
The policy focuses on several key aspects including prevention, rehabilitation and integration, training, community participation and creating awareness, they added.
There has been a huge increase in physical, mental and substance use disorders in the past two decades across Jammu and Kashmir and the trend has also been witnessed among women, sources asserted.
Apart from this, for effective monitoring, the government has also constituted an Anti-Narcotics Task Force in coordination with the Excise and Agriculture Departments on both private and government land.
ANTF has been asked to prepare an action plan to stop opium cultivation in the next season while the ANTF will also conduct awareness campaigns across the Union Territory.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on February 12 said that efforts are being intensified to fight narco-terrorism unleashed by the Pakistan after laying the foundation stone for Drug De-Addiction Centre in Channi Himmat area here.
Social Organisattion, Team Jammu—the body working with a motive to fight against the menace of drugs in Jammu and Kashmir for the last six years, its Chairman, Zorawar Singh Jamwal told UNI, “setting up drug de-addiction centres in each district hospital is a welcome step but it should be implemented in totality on ground.”
“We have been suggesting and requesting the government during our programmes with initiatives needed to be taken to stop this menace and save our youth including establishment of rehabilitation and drug de-addiction centres,” said Jamwal adding that once these centres come up in district hospitals, trained and expert staff must be deployed because dealing a drug addict is completely different from treating a normal patient.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh had recently said that the Pakistan is using narco sales for terror funding to create disturbance in Jammu and Kashmir.
On February 28, a Drug De-addiction Rehabilitation Institute was established at Gurha Slathian in Samba district with the efforts of Police and the civil society.
SSP Samba Dr Abhishek Mahajan had said that drug abuse is a “major challenge” and the society must contribute in the war against this menace.
The SSP appealed that the drug Smugglers and its propagators who try to spoil the future of young generation will not be spared and dealt firmly as per the law.